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Lost in Translation: 'Learn Russian' lesson for State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki

Published time: March 24, 2014 16:21
Edited time: March 24, 2014 19:03
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

In a jubilant tweet recently, Jen Psaki of the US State Dept accused RT’s Russian-language channel of “faking” a translation.

While Psaki herself didn’t get into specifics RT looked but could not find what exactly Ms Psaki was referring to (neither did google).

It all started with Psaki’s opinion, stated as fact, that ‘Russia shot first’ in an incident at a facility in Crimea which left two people dead.

RT’s Anastasia Churkina picked her up on it and Psaki responded thus: “We don’t see how it’s possibly true that the Russian claim that someone else was the aggressor, that the Ukrainians were the aggressor can possibly be true.”

So for the record, here’s the RT-Russian translation.

“Нам не кажутся достоверными заявления русских, что агрессором был кто-то другой или украинцы.”

Even a rough machine-translation indicates there was no ‘faking’ going on, at least not in RT.

“We do not seem authentic Russian statements that the aggressor was someone else or Ukrainians.”

So, maybe it’s time for Jen Psaki to start working on improving her Russian?

RT’s Learn Russian project can help with that.

Psaki is also quite fond of @UkrProgress, a Russian-language twitter account set up by her employers.

Check it out for unattributed allegations such as: “Putin congratulated Ukrainian soldiers on not using weapons, but then allowed to shoot one of them.”