When a reporter is lost without translation


Whenever I think about the various reporting trips that I have taken abroad, I am grateful to the sources who spoke with me — but I also feel powerfully indebted to the translators who served as crucial allies when I was far from home. ...

Clearly, something about the dynamic between reporter and translator fosters closeness. During interviews, the translator is standing in for the reporter, trying to channel not just the reporter’s words but approach — the pauses, emphases, and corny tension-breaking jokes, whatever emotion might be felt with a sensitive question.

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