Monday, November 26, 2012

Neil MacFarquhar and Arabic

Readers on Twitter initiated an exchange between Neil MacFarquhar of the New York Times and me on Twitter regarding post about Arabic, when he noted that Samar Yazbak spoke to him in Arabic.  I noted that I heard that he conducted interviews through an interpreter.  He wrote:  " 1. Since u asked, studied Arabic @ Esso Elementary, Berkeley, Stanford, Cairo & Middlebury. It is..2 Since you asked My Arabic unkempt but works well. Dialect, subject, circumstance decide translator... 3 Recent solo Arabic interviews: Prof. Talal Atrissi, minister Ali Qanso, Syria actv Roshak Ahma."  I then noted that Yazbak's name was not mentioned in the list of people in "solo Arabic interviews".  He wrote:  "Arabic 90 min. Her translator inserted Eng book titles & plots, odd word, long end riff on democracy."  I stand corrected, I guess.