News | 09.09.2012

Interpreted correctly or incorrectly? That is the question.

For the first time in more than 30 years, an Egyptian head of state travelled to Iran to participate in the 16th Summit of  the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran and it immediately turned into a scandal.

In his speech, the newly appointed president of Egypt Mohamed Mursi  spoke about the Iran-backed regime in Syria. Mursi criticized the handling of the Syrian regime and called for more aid. This criticism prompted not only the Syrian delegation to leave the room, but to the surprise of many it was also wrongly interpreted into Farsi for Iranian state television: instead of Syria, the Gulf state of Bahrain was mentioned. Unfortunately this was not the only interpretation error.

Now, of course, many wonder whether these mistakes were “interpreter errors” or whether the misinterpretations were made intentionally by the Iranian conference interpreters. Unfortunately, the interpreters have not made themselves available for comment. The debacle, however, will continue to be discussed for some time.

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