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Guilty of translating

2006-05-11 @ 9:13

I couldn’t let this one go by.

Translation is the art of erasing oneself in order to speak in another’s voice. Good translators speak for others, not for themselves. So when NYU graduate student Mohammed Yousry took on the job of translating Arabic for lawyers representing Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric convicted of conspiring to bomb several bridges and tunnels around Manhattan, Yousry agreed, like any good translator, to follow his lawyers’ lead. For doing his job, he now faces the possibility of twenty years in prison as a supporter of terrorism. He is scheduled to be sentenced in a federal court in New York in September.

This is incredible. And unacceptable. By the same logic, any translator working for US intelligence service translating Ben Laden tapes and what not should be convicted of the same crime.

Via 3quarksdaily

7 comments to “Guilty of translating”

  1. wow - this is pretty scary. but, it does not surprise me in the least.

  2. I’m not surprised either. Which kinds of makes it even scarier.

What do you think?