Accessibility links

Breaking News

Blame The Translators

With Sarkozy in Moscow today to press Russia over Georgia, let's hope there's some good translators in town. Apparently the text of the ceasefire which Sarkozy brokered on August 12 was misinterpreted by the Russian side because of bad translation.

The passage in question relates to the not inconsequential matter of whether Russia keeps its tanks and heavy armor in Georgia. (See our blog from Poti for more of this.)

"The Economist," however, in its recent briefing on Georgia, implied it was about more than bad translation, saying, "Veterans of the many ceasefire negotiations during the wars in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s were aghast when they saw the text, which exists in multiple inconsistent versions and lacks the vital specifics of dates and placenames, leaving far too much wiggle room."

-- Luke Allnutt

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

Latest Posts