Translation Mistake Leads to NATO Scandal

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This is a great example of how important the job of interpreter is. Even the smallest misinterpretation can lead to international scandals. Recently chosen NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg fell a victim to a translation mistake. The Moscow Times reports that Stoltenberg was quoted in a recent interview on Polish television as saying that NATO would base its forces “wherever we want.” The source on the Polish TV channel confirmed that this phrase doesn’t seem to appear in the English version of the interview transcript and the English-Polish translator added this phrase himself, which led to an international scandal. I’m not sure how could something like this happen at this level. I know quite  a few people working as interpreters for UN. Indeed it’s a stressful job, but they’re real professionals with nerves of steel.
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Dmitry Kornyukhov

Entrepreneur. English-Russian Translator. Video game localization specialist. Helping small and medium-sized businesses go global. Loving every minute of it.


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