Monday, October 01, 2007

translations




doyouknowwhatimean
Much has been made about recent statements by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad'. He was quoted as saying, among other things, that there were no gays in Iran. This might come as a surprise to those teenagers who were hung a couple of years ago.
Of course, that assumes that Mr. Alphabet really said that. All we really know is what the translator of his remarks said.
Translation is an inexact science in the best of times. Certainly when changing a tongue like Farsi and rendering in into English, there are going to be mistakes. And since few in this country know Farsi, we have to trust the translator.
There is another angle to this, the translator with an agenda. This is suspected in some of Mr. Ahmadinejad's earlier comments about Israel. There are several alternative translations of his remarks, where "wipe Israel off the map" is interpreted as "find the Zionist state to be a nasty place". (This is not an exact quote.) Perhaps someone who wanted to stir hatred of Iran was behind that translation...like, perhaps a person from Iran's enemy, Iraq.
You have to take all this talk about hatred between Israel and Iran with a grain of salt. After all, Israel was the middleman in the arms dealing scheme with the United States known as Iran Contra.
There is some academic chatter coming out of Columbia University that might back up what the translator said. In some dusty academic wordfest, this was found..."The author doesn't deny that same-sex sexual contact exists in Arab countries, but claims that the category of "homosexual" is purely a Western one exported to the Arab world by Western cultural imperialists. This may have been what Mr. Ahmadinejad meant...that men have had sex with men for thousands of years, but they do not think of themselves as homosexual. This would be consistent with what thousands of travelers to Arab lands report.
These visits to the U.N. seem to be an annual thing for Mr. Ahmadinejad. Maybe next year he can go to New York a couple of weeks early, and take in fashion week.
Spell check suggestions for this feature:
Mahmoud- mahout, manhood, hammond,
Ahmadinejad- no spelling suggestions


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