7 Stories

Interpreter Mostly Signed Nonsense During Irma Briefing

Instead of evacuation information, deaf Florida residents got 'pizza' and 'monsters'

(Newser) - As Hurricane Irma was advancing on Florida, this was the message deaf residents of Manatee County received regarding a mandatory evacuation: "Help you at that time to use bear big." Jason Hurdich, a Clemson University professor and expert in American Sign Language, tells the Bradenton Herald he couldn'... More »

'Stunning Embarrassment' for FBI: Translator Wed ISIS Terrorist

She soon had second thoughts after sneaking off to Syria to marry Denis Cuspert

(Newser) - An ex-FBI translator was accused of endangering US security because of the person she married—an ISIS terrorist once called "the pop star of jihad" by the Fader . In a just-publicized story that ex-State Department spokesman John Kirby calls a "stunning embarrassment for the FBI," CNN reports... More »

Microsoft: Sorry for Really Bad Bing Translation

'Daesh' translated to 'Saudi Arabia,' which is definitely not correct

(Newser) - Whoops: Microsoft has apologized after its Bing translator mistakenly translated "Daesh," the Arabic name for ISIS, into "Saudi Arabia" in English. Social media users in Saudi Arabia angrily pointed out the error, the Guardian reports, and it quickly went viral. "As an employee of [Microsoft], I... More »

Afghans Bust Ex-US Translator in Disappearances

Zakeria Kandahari worked with US special forces

(Newser) - Afghanistan authorities have arrested a former translator for US special forces over "multiple crimes," officials said today, without elaboration. The AP fills in a few of the blanks, reporting that the Defense Ministry had said Zakeria Kandahari was wanted on charges of murder and torture in connection with... More »

US Hangs Iraqi Translators Out to Dry

With visa process slowed, many now fear for their lives

(Newser) - When the US signed up translators in Iraq, it promised them an inside track for a special visa to the US. But now that the war is over, the visa approval process has slowed to a crawl, leaving translators stuck in Iraq—where many want them dead for helping the... More »

Many Translators in Afghanistan Can't Speak the Languages

Ex-employee says contractor fudged exam results to boost profits

(Newser) - The contractor that supplies the military with Afghan translators is putting American lives at risk by sending out unqualified translators, a former employee charges. Paul Funk—who used to oversee the screening of Afghan linguists for Mission Essential Personnel—tells ABC News that the company inflated grades and tolerated cheating... More »

US Still Lacks Translators in Vital Languages

Intelligence, military officials often unable to read texts, emails

(Newser) - Nearly eight years have passed since 9/11, but national security agencies remain disturbingly low on translators for crucial dialects, the Washington Times reports. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives email and text-message each other freely in languages the CIA largely ignored before 2001. "I can't explain it,... More »

7 Stories