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Mario Vargas Llosa: in Spanish

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ashbird

To TE on the future of "OPEN FUTURE", the byline of this article,
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I applaud your providing this interview in its original Spanish. Very nice. Very very nice indeed.
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While providing also an English translation of it. Doubly nice, for those of us who don't read Spanish.
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"Nice" is not pleasantry or a gratuitous compliment. It is to point out an absolute technical essential when translation is involved in journalistic reporting.
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Many "translations" found in "journalism speak” are ridden with cringeworthy errors. Some of the errors are enough to completely alter the meaning of the original. “Completely” as in “100%”. So that a statement uttered in the original language such as, for an example, "I love X people (where X is the term for a specific ethnicity)", gets "translated" into "I love to kill people".
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Don't laugh, egregious errors in that order and magnitude have appeared in none other than your own paper - The Economist . IF there is no staff with the requisite language capability to double-check the work of Google Translate (a laughable way to do professional work in the first place), just DON'T DO THE PIECE until you get the translation straight. Otherwise you will leave a record of that kind of inferior work for all posterity to see (unless you destroy the record, which I am sure in the name of professional ethics, you will not resort to doing). Not to mention there are people (yes, they exist, just because you don't know they do doesn't mean they don't) who are native speakers of ALL the languages in the world, including the Inuit language in Canada, Greenland and Alaska. They ALL can tell a mistake (or a sick joke) when they see one when they are sufficiently bilingual. And sufficiently bilingual people nowadays are a dime a dozen.
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Above is written in the spirit of and in full support of your latest editorial decision to launch a Global Conversation . The message is: when unsure, don’t go beyond the scope of what you know. Know what you don’t know. Let the other purported half of the con>versation provide the "genuine article" (erudite readers can tell, which is what you say comprise the target consumer of your "intelligent paper for intelligent people"). Don’t build a mountain on the foundation of Zero Knowledge and call that “Open-Minded Liberalism”. Being "Liberal" requires discipline. Discipline of the most severe kind. Stupidity spilled out of willful ignorance is NOT "Liberalism". It is stupidity.
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So. You want “Global”? First, get your languages straight. No cheat work using Google Translate (Not convinced? Try Google Translate King Lear into Arabic).
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And while on the topic, perhaps you ought to tweak your Comment Policy with respect to the specific item that disallows the use of a language other than English, the violation of which is a flat basis for deletion of a comment (though languages about "love potions, miracle cures for lost husbands, and a click a day to earn USD 5,000 a day are tolerated, indeed apparently tacitly allowed since that stuff is beginning to proliferate on TE and there is no sign TE is lifting a finger to stop it).