Open Thread Thread | Main | French Sources Now Reporting That The White House Cut Translation of Hollande's Words When He Mentioned "Islamist Terrorism"
April 01, 2016

White House Censors Words "Islamist Terrorism" From Francis Hollande's Speech

Oh my.

You can hear on the audio what seems to sound an awful lot like a break in the sound (like someone hit the bleep button) as the translator simply stops translating when she hears Hollande says the forbidden words "terrorisme Islamiste."

The bolded words are what the translator refuses to translate:

"But we're also well aware that the roots of terrorism, [Islamist terrorism, is in Syria and in Iraq. We therefore have to act both in Syria and in Iraq, and this is what we're doing within the framework of the coalition.] And we note that Daesh is losing ground thanks to the strikes we've been able to launch with the coalition."

I'm trying to hear the French to make sure this isn't just a tricky patch of translation. But it seems not to be. Hollande speaks very simply and is one of the easiest French speakers to translate. The words I can hear are very clear. The part which has been censored I can't hear, because the translator is still translating the last sentence as he says the censored words "terrorisme Islamiste," but the words that follow are plain enough.

Which leads me to conclude as everyone else concludes: There was no difficulty translating this bit. Instead, another person in the booth pushed the "mute" button the translation when he heard the words "terrorisme islamiste."

Here are the words I can hear --

...terrorisme Islamiste [audio cut, but he seems to say "en Iraq et en Syrie" Then French audio returns:]

Nous devons agir en Irak et en Syrie. C'est ce qui le faisons dans le cadre dans la coalition. Nous constatons que Daesch est donc --

Translation, --

Islamist terrorism [audio cut]. We must act in Iraq and Syria. That's what we must doing in the framework of the coalition. We note that Daesch is therefore--

This is extremely straightforward French. I listen to Hollande a lot because it's almost as if he's speaking purposefully simply for non-native speakers (which, given the Party Socialist's support from foreign-born voters, he probably is.)

This is virtually first semester stuff. A non-speaker can easily map each French word for each English word (agir = act, nous devons = we must), except for the "c'est ce qui" stuff, which is like third semester ("This is that which").

I can't hear the worlds before Islamic terrorism but I can guess, because that's also almost certainly straightforward as well: "Nous savons, beinsur, que les racines de terrorisme, terrorisme Islamiste--" or something like that. "Racine" is used in French just as it is in English -- to mean "root" both literally and figuratively.

So this is not any problem with translation; this is someone hitting the Mute button and touching the translator on the shoulder to tell her to skip over this dangerous passage.

However, the forbidden words do appear on the White House's transcript/translation of Hollande's remarks.

At 4:38, the censorship begins:


digg this
posted by Ace at 02:28 PM

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