Charting the Course of History

When charting the course of history or human events, communication is critical.  Miscommunication, misunderstandings, errors in translations could result in the masses believing that earth is being invaded by aliens.

“One of the extraordinary things about human events is that the unthinkable becomes thinkable.”  – – Salman Rushdie quotes (Indian born British Writer, b.1947)

The link below is to a Cracked article will really give you pause and make you think long and hard, and choose your words carefully; especially when you are not speaking in your native tongue.

These errors – misunderstandings – “mistranslations” – literally changed the course of human events.

6 Mistranslations That Changed The World

Here is a quick summary of 4 of the 6 mistranslations.

  • Someone misunderstood an astronomer’s reference to “channels”, and next thing we knew there were Martians. Even though the “lost in mistranslation” mistake was finally explained, it was too late. People had bought into the idea of life on planet Mars. No turning back.
  • Nikita Khrushchev uttered a statement that was not properly interpreted by the Americans. The USA took it as a threat and before anyone could misspell the name “Nikita”, the United States and Russia were in a race for space!
  • The incident about President Carter’s Polish interpreter will make your side hurt from laughing so hard.
  • But the mistranslation that caused two atoms bombs to be dropped on Japan? It’s not funny!

There were two more mistranslations left, but couldn’t finish reading the article. After reading the part about President Harry Truman’s reaction to Japan’s response as to whether or not they would surrender, my jaw dropped.

Could this possibly be the real historical record?


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