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Joined: 2009-03-24

Hey, I am a German native and translator, mostly localizing video games from English into German.

In the last few days, your blog Gamepolitics.com has published several mistranslations which I wanted to point out. Please let me say that I do not mean any disrespect to the translator Hannah but instead would like to clarify a few things.

In your post "Head of German Police Union Calls For Ban on Violent Video Games", published on March 22nd, 2009, the sentence from the original source Echo-Online

[I]Es ist bekannt, dass in allen Fällen, in denen es zu Amokläufen kam, die Täter einen ausgeprägten Hang zu sogenannten Killerspielen hatten[/I]

was translated into

[I]It is known that in every situation in which a violent rampage (Amoklauf) has occurred, the perpetrator has had a remarked addiction to so-called killergames. [/I]

The buzzword here is "addiction", a word the interviewee never used. He instead used "Hang", which can be translated as tendency or preference. He qualifies "Hang" with the adjective "ausgeprägt", in this context best translated as "distinctive" or simply "high".

I am pointing this out because with your post you give the impression that the interviewee sees a correlation between video game addiction and violent behaviour, which he did not. I feel this is somewhat important because many German media outlets confuse addictions to games like World of Warcraft and the influence of violent video games on perpetrators of school shootings, as can be seen report by the popular German news program "heute journal" from March 16th ([URL=http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/content/715376]link here, in German, allow pop-ups to watch[/URL])

I do not acknowledge the existence of video game addiction or any influence of video games on perpetrators of school shootings with the above paragraph, I am reflecting merely the public discussion :D

You made also a mistake by calling the interviewee "The head of Germany's national police union" even though you call him correctly one sentence later "Heini Schmitt, head of the Hessen German Police Union (DPolG)". For your understanding, Hesse is one of Germany's federal states. And Heini is a funny name.

To your post "German President Backs Ban on Violent Video Games, Movies", a few comments to the post pointed out already that the translation is wrong. Let me first say: Agence France Press, the source you linked to, did a terrible job mixing up statements made by different persons at different times. Since AFP can be regarded as a trusted source, I don't blame your blog for the confusion.

To make it short, Horst Köhler never called for any ban on anything (and did not back such a ban). His speech can be seen and downloaded [URL=http://www.bundespraesident.de/-,2.653214/Rede-von-Bundespraesident-Hors.htm]here[/URL] (in German).

This is what he said:

[I]Sagt uns nicht der gesunde Menschenverstand, dass ein Dauerkonsum
solcher Produkte schadet? Ich finde jedenfalls: Dieser Art
von „Marktentwicklung“ sollte Einhalt geboten werden.

My translation:

[I]Does common sense not tell us that permanent consumption of these products is harmful? I believe: This kind of "market development" should be stopped.[/I]

Interesting enough, Köhler goes on with a more liberal viewpoint:

[I]Und da ist nicht nur der Staat gefordert. Es ist auch eine Frage der Selbstachtung, welche Filme ich mir anschaue, welche Spiele ich spiele, welches Vorbild ich meinen Freunden, meinen Kindern und Mitmenschen gebe. Zur Selbstachtung gehört es, dass man "Nein" sagt zu Dingen, die man für schlecht hält - auch wenn sie nicht verboten sind.

My translation:

[I]We cannot only make demands from the state. It is also a question of self-regard, which movies I watch, which games I play, what kind of model I am for my friends, my children and my peers. It is also a matter of self-regard to say "no" to things that one considers bad - even when they are not forbidden.[/I]

Please understand that I usually translate the other way (into German) as my professional ethic dictates (you always choose a native of the language you translate into).

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