No, no, no – This is Enough!

I normally don’t “talk politics” in this blog, but really, this is too much.

Our profession is being decimated!

Almost all the issues of the “Translator Power” Google alert I receive, talk about beheadings, shootings, stabbings of translators.

In both Iraq and Afghanistan, translators are automatically considered as “traitors” because of their familiarity with the “invader”‘s language and culture.

Who’s going to put and end to this madness?

Don’t people realize that IN ANY CASE, wars always and inevitably end in negotiations, sooner or later?

Now who’s going to translate/interpret when the time to negotiate comes, if they finish off all translators before negotiations start?

Shouldn’t translators be considered as “NEUTRAL communication facilitators?

Maybe we should all pull out and let politicians learn each other’s languages?

Please take a look at FIT’s “Don’t Shoot the Messenger”! FIT is the International Federation of Translators and it chose this title as the theme for International Translation Day 2007.


P.S. The word “decimate” comes from the Latin “decimus”, meaning 1/10. In Ancient Rome, before an important war the soldiers were made to stand in a line and counted.

“One, two, three ….TEN. Step out! The other nine, step aside!”

And it went on and on until all the “number 10s” were separated from the others and the BEHEADED while the others watched in terror. So 1/10 of the soldiers were killed in cold blood by their own generals, even before the war started. Roman generals thought this was a good way to show their soldiers that they “meant business”!

As you can see, in the case of our colleagues in Iraq and Afghanistan what’s happening is even more terrible that “decimation”. It’s more like over 99.99% of translators risk their lives.

Who’s going to put an end to this MADNESS

About translatorpower

The Cross-cultural Connector, The Global Mindset Advocate
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3 Responses to No, no, no – This is Enough!

  1. Pingback: Ingratitude! « Translator Power

  2. rschiaffino says:

    While decimation does mean executing one in ten, and goes back to Roman history, it was not something that was done before a battle, nor in the way you describe, but as a punishment, and in a different way. The relevant Wikipedia article has a good and clear description.


  3. Of course you’re right. Thanks a lot for this brilliant contribution. The Wikipedia article is at

    Let’s keep in touch!



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