Global Lingo Activate Menu

Political Mistranslation

Written by on

News – Political Mistranslation
2008.02.29

Mistranslation can have serious repercussions, as the Spectator notes today. Israel’s deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai was quoted as predicting a ‘bigger holocaust’ in Hamas-controlled Gaza, an incendiary remark. However, Vilnai never said it. The word he used was ‘shoah’, conventionally translated as ‘disaster’. In Hebrew, ‘shoah’ is never used to mean ‘holocaust’ because of the historical connotations; only the word ‘Hashoah’ means ‘the Holocaust’. The mistranslation originated with Reuters, but was reproduced by the BBC as well as Hamas for its own purposes. With this in mind, Melanie Phillips in the Spectator argues that ‘such a mistranslation is more than an unfortunate slip. In the present explosive atmosphere, it can lead directly to an enormous escalation of violence’.

How can we help you?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Vendor Spring Newsletter

Our news

Vendor Spring Newsletter

The Global Lingo Vendor Management Team is happy to release the third edition of the Vendor Newsletter. This issue introduces more of our team and is mostly focused on how to improve efficiency as a translator and transcriber. Click here to view the Spring edition of the Vendor Newsletter