On Choosing the Right Words …and other matters

“Rostec admits localization of components production for Su-57 fighters abroad”

A very clever sales strategy by Russia, if I may say so, but I still have issues (mentioned in a previous post some time ago) on wording that I feel has lost something in translation.

The issue I have is the ending of the sentence used twice in the TASS article and in almost all previous posts about the amazing Su-57 aircraft speaking of its capabilities, as here –
…and hit enemy ground and naval targets, overcoming its air defense capabilities.

Now, in plain English (to my mind) this reads as though the “enemy ground and naval targets” are able to overcome the Su-57’s air defense capabilities, which I am sure is not the intended meaning at all. I suggest this alternative wording – 
…and hit ground and naval targets, overcoming enemy air defense capabilities.
There is no mistaking the intention of that statement.

You are welcome TASS. A free gift from me.

And just as a bonus offering, if I were really picky I would take issue with the use of the word “admits” in the title of the post. Ok, so I’m being really picky.

‘Admit’, apart from its alternative meaning of ‘allow entry to somewhere’, carries the initial impression and most usual connotation of ‘confession’ of some negative position – often implying ‘guilt’. A better word choice might have been ‘endorses’ or ‘permits’ or even ‘allows’.

I mention these things only because language choices have always been a problem for those involved in expressing ideas in writing, and in a geo-political setting, as in matters involving diplomacy also (not to mention when you are trying to sell a product to prospective buyers), this takes on an even more important significance in order to avoid cases where misconstruance of meaning leading to misconception of intention can have unfortunate repercussions. 

I am guilty of that myself from time to time, and probably more often than I would care to admit. 

This will always be a problem of course and where translation is involved from one language to another, or to many others, as is a widespread practice in today’s world of global internet communication, extra-special care should be exercised in order to reduce or eliminate such possibilities. 

Ok. Recognising that I may be making a fuss over not much at all in this case, I think the general principle still stands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: