Useful web sites

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    « More revealing veil rage | Main | I like quirky guidebooks: 1 »



    You don't by chance have a link to a recording of Putin's comments in the original Russian? I would like to offer my translation services to this blog pro bono.



    Dave Hill

    The more I learn about Putin, the more endearing he becomes...(I don't think)


    I don't know what these despicable and chauvanistic comments by Putin have got to do with criticism of MEMRI.

    MEMRI has come under fire for clearly provding a distorted view of the Arab Media. See for example here:
    Lawrence of Cyberia
    Juan Cole
    You may disagree with these criticisms, you may want to argue rationally against them, but to ridicule them with this Putin stuff is cheap.


    John said:

    "MEMRI has come under fire for clearly provding a distorted view of the Arab Media."

    This is amusing as the MEMRI translations are provided with the original Arabic, dialogue or text as the case may be, and anyone conversant in the various languages can judge.
    Israeli TV uses their translations of Arab media and would be the laughing stock among the many Arabic speaking Israelis, Jew and Arab.

    Some time back I saw a similar criticism of the MEMRI translation of Wafa Sultan's appearance on Al Jazeerah only to witness the critic to get egg in their face when viewing Ms. Sultan being interviewed in Germany in English.

    If one is aware of Academia in the US then Juan Cole is not credible.


    Unfortunately, I don't have access to the Russian original-- as the microphones were switched off when he made the remarks, I doubt if there will be a readily available source, especially as the Russian media are most unlikely to have carried the story.

    John, I find your comments disingenuous. The connection between those who try to discredit MEMRI and the apologist for Putin is that both are based on trying to explain away totally unpalatable statements as poor ( and, in the case of MEMRI, malign) translations.

    I'm not at all impressed by the Lawrence of Cyberia post, particularly as it attempts to pin embarrassing articles in the Arab media as IDF plants. Seems like a case of, when in doubt, blame Israel.

    There is far more gross stuff being reported in the speeches of Ahmadinejad and the leaders and web sites of Hamas, Qaradawi and the like than comes solely from MEMRI. Many of the articles appearing on MEMRI are also available via alternative translations from other sites (such as Qaradawi's own web site).

    The fact that the most regularly quoted criticism by Whitaker and Cole all seems to hang on one word in just one article out of the thousands that MEMRI translates speaks for itself.

    The BBC Monitoring service at Caversham (no doubt also run by UK intelligence) also regularly publishes hair-raising articles translated from the Middle East and Muslim world which carry the same sort of viciously anti-semitic and mindbogglingly conspiracist discourse as some of the articles MEMRI translates.

    Most of us are aware that there are sources of sane and balanced discussion and review from Middle Eastern countries. I carry a couple of links to some on my blog. But that does not invalidate the project of bringing the sort of material MEMRI publishes into the public domain for English speaking audiences.

    MEMRI does also publish articles which represent moderate and anti-extremist opinion in the Arab and Muslim world. This is an example from the Saudi government on the current MEMRI site.

    Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for the site which will prove it can select and present, from official government news channels in the Arab and Muslim world, regular balanced discussion of issues around Israel and the USA


    The problem is men with power think they can do what ever they want.


    Well, at least John didn't include Brian Whitaker's "Selective MEMRI" as an "authoritative" critique of MEMRI.

    My understanding is that MEMRI's translations are considered so reliable that even Al-Jazeera relies on them.

    What is interesting about MEMRI is that they seem to work very hard at finding items to translate that are clearly intended to give the world hope that all is not lost, from sources like Metransparent, etc.

    Also interesting, recently, a female British Muslim academic was not all that happy to discover that MEMRI translated a piece she wrote detailing the way the fundamentalist organizations started to infiltrate the universities 20 years ago or so, and how hostile to women they tended to be, not because the translation was misleading in anyway, but rather because of the way the article would be used [to show that there really was a systemic problem in UK Muslim society].

    Lurker Mk II

    The awful truth is that the standards of verbal propriety demanded by a nice British Jewish lady of a certain age are far from universally shared yet.

    Tough, but there it is. Needs a little more missionary work.


    Putin thinks that he can with impunity in any situation.


    Jack writes "Putin thinks that he can with impunity in any situation."

    And we have given him reason to think otherwise because ______ ?????




    I've seen a text (but not heard) the original Russian, and, believe me, if anything it is worse in the original. The words Putin uses to describe (his "joking" perception of) Katsav are rather colloquial - "strapping bloke" would be nearer London English usage than "mighty man".

    This is hardly the first time that Putin has said, erm, unpleasant things (even on the record): On past occasions the Kremlin's official press service has not bothered to translate wilfully offensive comments (although leaving them in the Russian version of texts).

    What is also interesting and disturbing is my perception (right or wrong) that his comments did not spark any particular uproar in most sections of Russian society.


    Oh, the BBC have the Russian text here (and it was included in a surprising number of Russian organs of press, or at least their web versions, but certainly in some cases in print editions too)


    Oh I see that cut off.
    Last part of the URL is

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    August 2015

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28 29
    30 31          
    Blog powered by Typepad