Ebba Busch is the leader of the Christian Democrats in Sweden. The following report describes the way Ms. Busch’s words were deliberately mistranslated by Radio Sweden, the state broadcasting service, in its Arabic, Somali, and Kurdish channels.
SR accused of deliberate mistranslating of Busch
Disinformation in the media
May 6, 2022
In Radio Sweden’s Somali, Arab, and Kurdish channels, Ebba Busch’s statement after the Koran riots was translated in a seriously erroneous manner.
Critics believe that the incorrect translations are deliberate, and the Christian Democrats (KD) are demanding a meeting with the leaders of the tax-financed channel.
As Nya Dagbladet was earlier able to report, Ebba Busch, in an interview with Radio Sweden, asked why we didn’t see injured Islamists instead of the 100 (actually at least 180) police who were injured during the riots.
“So we have at least 100 injured police, and the big question that should be asked is: “Why don’t we have at least 100 injured Islamists, criminals, and rioters?”
When Radio Sweden reported on the statements on its channels, the term “Islamists” was suddenly changed to “Muslims” in both the Arab and Somali broadcasts.
The Bonnier* newspaper Dagens Nyheter first reported that Radio Sweden’s Arab-language editorial staff incorrectly reported that Busch asked, “Why have we not seen 100 injured Muslims?”— a mistranslation that was noticed by an Arab-speaking man who also reported the post to the media ombudsman.
Editor-in-Chief Gabi Kratz claimed in defense that it was all a “mistake” that came up in the reading of the same news — in spite of the fact that the incorrect translation was also found in text form on the editor’s official Facebook page.
The site Doku has also revealed that Radio Sweden’s Somali editorial staff incorrectly translated Busch’s statement and used the word, “Muslims” instead of “Islamists”. In addition, a caption in the feature claimed that “KD’s party leader, Ebba, was complaining that police didn’t kill many Muslims.”
The Christian Democrats maintain that there are indications that the incorrect translations are “sitting out there in the system” and demand that Radio Sweden officials explain themselves.
“We are very upset that they are spreading pure lies, and they are doing it on channels where it is the hardest to detect”.
“We demand an explanation and a meeting with the management of Radio Sweden. They must now explain how they run their publishing business. It is four months to the election, and we do not accept disinformation from anyone,” he continues.
Johan Ingerö tweet, May 3 (1)
In addition, who takes responsibility now for their mistranslations? When and where will the Arabic-language denials come?
So we are already talking about riots with hundreds of injured. This can worsen the situation and increase the danger.
Johan Ingerö tweet, May 3 (2)
They are also different words in Arabic. “Muslim” = Muslimoun. “Islamist” = Islamioun.
And there are also different words to describe different things. It doesn’t sound like this was likely a mistake.
Johan Ingerö, policy chief for the leadership of the Christian Democrats, asks whether Radio Sweden’s publishing management even knows Arabic, and further wonders how they can run the publishing in a language they can’t even master, while ensuring that the reporting is correct.
He states that the word for Muslim compared to Islamist is different even in Arabic and that it is untrue that the mistranslation was a mistake.
It has also emerged that the same mistranslation from “Islamists” to “Muslims” also occurred in the headline of Radio Sweden’s Kurdish section. Radio Sweden’s publisher has avoided answering further questions, but claims that it is something they “are investigating”.
Critics have pointed out that tax-financed Radio Sweden’s frequent mistranslations not only risk leading to increased tensions and violence such as what took place during the Koran riots, but also that the distortions of Busch’s statement can influence the Christian Democrats’ opinion polls and the election results in the fall.
|*||Bonnier is the name of a Jewish family that has long been prominent in Swedish publishing.