There wasn’t a professional interpretation expert on the moon with Neil Armstrong to relay his legendary words to an estimated 650 million captivated earthlings back home.
I mention this because it’s Moon Landing Day on 20th July. This year marks 52 years since the Eagle landed.
A giant question mark has hovered above one of the most famous quotes ever since, due to the absence of professional interpretation.
The Conversation explains –
“As he took his first steps, he uttered words that would be written into history books for generations to come: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”
Or at least that’s how the media reported his words.
But Armstrong insisted that he actually said, “That’s one small step for a man.” In fact, in the official transcript of the Moon landing mission, NASA transcribes the quote as ‘that’s one small step for (a) man’.”
You might think a humble ‘a’ being dropped doesn’t make a giant difference to the sentiment.
But, imagine, the first words of the first man to set foot on the moon being misinterpreted!
Misinterpretation caused worse problems for President Jimmy Carter in 1977. He made a speech in Poland, expressing his desire learn more about the aspirations of the Polish people.
Professional interpretation for the visit was provided by a hapless freelance interpreter called Steven Seymour.
He interpreted that Carter “desired the Poles carnally” and “was happy to grasp Poland’s private parts”.
Carter mentioned his outbound journey from America. His professional interpretation cohort suggested that the President had deserted his nation for good.
The President complimented the Polish Constitution. But his praise was relayed as ridicule thanks to Seymour’s not so professional interpretation.
Rest assured you can rely on us, at Accutranslate, for gaffe-free professional interpretation.
We work with notable academics, business leaders, dignitaries and sporting stars who expect nothing less. Our professional interpretation standards are as high as our clients’ expectations, so it works for both parties.
Did We Mishear Neil Armstrong’s Famous First Words on the Moon? Melissa Michaud Baese-Berk, The Conversation
Top 10 Times Miscommunication Had Awful Consequences, Michael Laroque, TopTenz