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Catholic World News

New York Times story based on gross translating error

April 07, 2010

An Italian journalist has revealed that a front-page story in the New York Times, attempting to link Pope Benedict XVI to the case of a Milwaukee priest charged with sexual abuse, was based on a faulty computerized translation of an Italian-language document. "Behind the accusations," said Paolo Rodari of Il Foglio, "there is a gross translation error." The Times evidently relied on a rough rendition, done by the Yahoo translation site, which missed crucial distinctions in the Italian original.


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  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Apr. 08, 2010 8:54 PM ET USA

    One wonders if the Times will issue a mea culpa. Nah, the paper will ignore the correction, stand by the original article, and move on. At best, they will publish what the Italian journalist said, put it on page 32, and call it a "correction."

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Apr. 07, 2010 10:05 PM ET USA

    I can believe it, I had a friend look over a letter I translated from online, English to Spanish, and there were words my Guatemalan friend couldn't recognize,or were an incorrect usage. Thank God I didn't send it unchecked. I wasn't even getting paid by the NY Times.

  • Posted by: Lisa Nicholas, PhD - Apr. 07, 2010 8:29 PM ET USA

    Was it really the Yahoo translator program that "omitted" some passages in the original story? I think Il Foglio is giving their NY counterpart too much slack on this one.

  • Posted by: rpp - Apr. 07, 2010 5:18 PM ET USA

    Bad translation or "cooked" translation. Sounds like they learned how to do research from Dan Rather. (Recall Rather's "documantry proof" that G.W. Bush was AWOL in the 2004 election, except the documents were fake?)