Waiting for a phone call from the Mossad

Whether you like Bibi (Benjamin Netanyahu) or not, here in Israel we felt a sense of pride as our prime minister exposed what was hidden behind the curtains – folders and discs that contain hundreds of thousands of documents of invaluable information on Iran’s nuclear industry. “An unprecedented intelligence achievement” said the white-haired man in a baritone voice as he walked from side to side on the stage at the press conference.

It is possible, of course, to discuss whether the seized materials will serve to achieve the goal or not, but I have no intention to start a political discussion. What is certain is that the Israeli Mossad accomplished a remarkable mission. Perhaps one day Steven Spielberg will direct a large budget action film portraying the Mossad agents breaking into the warehouse in the remote neighborhood of Tehran and successfully removing half a ton of documents. This is something we can be proud of, and I’m not being cynical.

I did not see Bibi’s show when it was broadcasted live – I was in Italy, at a conference for translation agencies. I regret missing the Maestro’s show. Maybe I would have learnt a thing or two about speaking in public. I did, however, read the newspaper the next day, and in one article there was a line that caught my eye. It was something Bibi said during an interview with Fox News:

“The materials obtained included 100,000 documents in Farsi. We had to give them to professional translators who were familiar with the scientific and technological terms, so it took us some time”.

Well, even though Lichi Translations has not yet received a phone call from the Mossad – I cannot help but agree with this statement. This is one of the most important features of the translation profession:

Translation of technical documents, no matter how tight the deadline is, requires translators who are fully proficient in the field they are translating.

I am sure that the Mossad has excellent linguists and translators, but only translators who are also familiar with nuclear science can carry out this translation task. It takes time to find such translators, recruit them, check their translation level, complete their security clearance, train them – and this is without even mentioning the translation task itself – all this takes time. In this case, the time required seems infinite.

We at Lichi make tremendous efforts to assign the best translatorsfor each project. They must be professional and knowledgeable in the field they are translating.

I remember a project we did a few years ago, that included Persian translation. It did not involve materials concerning Israel’s security, rather it was the story of a Jewish Iranian family that lived in the United States and purchased real estate in Israel. In this project we translated all the mortgage and legal documents to the Persian language so that the elders of the family could sign the documents and submit them to the bank.

Following the project, I wrote and published an article about translation into the Persian language, which included a comparison of this language with Hebrew and English. The article was published in the International translation magazine, Multilingual, in November 2017. Read the full article.

So now, we at Lichi sit and wait by the phone – maybe the Mossad will need help and we can then come to the rescue and like the knight on the white horse, save the day. Maybe even Sarah (the first lady) will call to thank us personally…

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