Gained In Translation

Davids Medienkritik is calling shenanigans on a English to German translation of a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview with US Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes. Take this question, for example:

English (emphasis added):

SPIEGEL: Do you sometimes think that the Europeans are hypercritical with your friend, the president?

Hughes: I know him so well personally, that I sometimes am stunned by what I see as a caricature of him that has emerged in some press coverage. He’s a very warm person, he’s a very thoughtful person, he’s a very decent person. He cares deeply about people, he’s a wonderful leader. I think all of us should take a breath and be a little bit more charitable about how we view each other.

German (emphasis added):

SPIEGEL: Glauben Sie manchmal, dass die Europäer mit Ihrem Freund, dem Präsidenten, zu kritisch umspringen?

Hughes: Ich kenne ihn privat so gut, dass ich über sein Zerrbild in Teilen der Presse mitunter sehr erstaunt bin. Er ist warmherzig, nachdenklich und anständig. Die Menschen liegen ihm am Herzen, er ist ein wunderbarer Führer.

And that’s just the start of it

While Führer does mean “leader” in German, it’s seldom used in the German press for reasons that should be obvious. Just to make sure you get their point they added another photo to the German version…

hughes.jpg

You know, in case you missed the reference in the text…

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