Tags: China Lost in Translation

Translation Confusion at Obama-Hu News Conference

Wednesday, 19 Jan 2011 06:49 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Translation mix-ups led to some confusion at the White House news conference with President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Obama said he initially thought his responses were being translated simultaneously into Chinese for Hu. But they weren't, and so a lengthy Chinese translation followed Obama's response to the first question he was asked, on human rights.

The question was also directed at Hu, but the Chinese president didn't answer it, saying later that he hadn't heard it. Hu did go on to discuss China's human rights issues when he was asked again.

Later in the news conference, a Chinese reporter provoked laughter when he rebuked the Chinese-language translator and instructed him to translate his questions clearly.

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