Saturday, December 24, 2016

When Language Paints the Wrong Picture


This Spiegel Online article outlines the earlier information that German authorities had on the man who committed the terror attack in Berlin. More than once, he is described as having been "on the radar" of police and immigration officials.

Perhaps the wording in the original German is more accurate but the English expression "on the radar" implies that he was being closely watched. He clearly was not.

It is a good lesson to keep in mind. Whenever you hear some reassuring term or phrase in a meeting, don't hesitate to ask, "Exactly what does that mean?"

"On the radar" may really be "a dark alley."

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