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June 18, 2013

Ha'aretz Translators Can't Tell Jewish Agency from WZO

Ha'aretz's notorious English translators have blown it once again. Editors were compelled to print a correction today regarding a page-one headline and article, the latest instance of "Ha'aretz, Lost in Translation." The page-two correction reads:

There was a translation error on yesterday's front page: in the article, "The Jewish Agency Settlement Department's bloated budget," the department referred to belongs to the World Zionist Organization and not the Jewish Agency. We apologize for the mistake.
Here is yesterday's front-page with the erroneous headline and article:

Jewish Agency settlement front page.jpg

The erroneous reference to the Jewish Agency, as opposed to the World Zionist Organization, also appeared on Ha'aretz's Facebook page and Twitter feed:

Jewish agency settlement facebook.jpg

Jewish agency tweet.jpg

The text of the print edition article also erred, confusing the Jewish Agency for the World Zionist Organization:

The Jewish Agency Settlement Department’s annual spending is several times higher than its original budget, Haaretz has learned. In recent years the government has transferred additional funds to the Settlement Department ranging from several dozen million shekels to hundreds of millions.

The department is funded and directed by the government, despite being formally part of the Jewish Agency. . . .

When Ha'aretz launched its new digital platforms last year, publisher Amos Schocken promised readers "accurate and comprehensive news coverage, analyses and commentary on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world."

Schocken Jewish world.jpg

Ha'aretz translators, who can't tell the Jewish Agency from the World Zionist Organization, do not deliver accurate coverage of the Jewish world, Israel or the Middle East. Rather than once again treating the symptom with a correction, isn't it high time that Ha'aretz get to the root of the problem by holding its translators accountable? If reporters are named (and shamed) in corrections when they err, why aren't translators?

Posted by TS at June 18, 2013 04:04 AM


Haaretz needs to do more than hold its translators responsible. It needs to have journalists who UNDERSTAND the Jewish organizational world as the ones that report on them!

Posted by: Anonymous at June 18, 2013 08:01 AM

The reporter, Chaim Levinson, writing in Hebrew, got it right. The problem was with the translator.

Posted by: TS at June 19, 2013 01:22 AM

If reporters are named (and shamed) in corrections when they err, why aren't translators?

Do you really think Haaretz inaccuracies are a bug? They are a feature.

Posted by: David Guy at June 19, 2013 08:51 AM

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