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Old 11-24-2002, 07:25 PM   #1
Jennifer
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Bin Laden's letter to America.

Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America'

If this is legitimate, it's very interesting.
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Old 11-24-2002, 09:04 PM   #2
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It's interesting in any case; probably the most articulate setting forward of Jihadist thinking so far. *So* articulate that I suspect it's originally written in English by British Jihadists, rather than written in Arabic and translated to English.

I'll be watching to see if anybody besides the Guardian thinks it is actually what it purports to be.
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Old 11-24-2002, 11:55 PM   #3
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Either way it's interesting, i doubt the Guardian would go to print without some solid evidence.
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Old 11-25-2002, 12:12 AM   #4
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I think they would...and I happen to like the Guardian. They're like the Washington Times of the left.
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Old 11-25-2002, 09:42 AM   #5
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bin Laden might have possibly laid down the idea, but there's no fucking way on God's Green Earth™ that he wrote every single bit of it. It simply makes use of too much good English to be a translation of his writing.
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave

It simply makes use of too much good English to be a translation of his writing.
Are you suggesting that there are no translators in Britain who are fluent in both languages?
Quote:
As reported in the Guardian

The letter first appeared on the internet in Arabic and has since been translated and circulated by Islamists in Britain.
Are you suggesting that bin Laden is inarticulate in the Arabic version?
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:15 AM   #7
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Interesting how they used "(against disbelievers)" instead of against the infidel. Either way, you can't spin the hate.
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:20 AM   #8
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in·fi·del

n.
An unbeliever with respect to a particular religion, especially Christianity or Islam.
One who has no religious beliefs.
One who doubts or rejects a particular doctrine, system, or principle.

Isn't the idea of a translation to reflect the commonly understood language of the reader?

The Arabic word isn't infidel, it's a word in another language that means infidel or disbeliever. Take your pick.

It seems that folks view "authentic" as something that bin Laden would have written in English. How would he phrase it in English? What English words would he use? Well, it was written in Arabic and the translator is free to choose the proper literate, rather than literal, translation.

Last edited by Nic Name; 11-25-2002 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:31 AM   #9
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No. What I'm saying is that I believe it's at the very least been embellished, and possibly created by English-speaking extremists (i.e., not bin Laden).

From what I have read and heard of bin Laden, this doesn't seem to fit the same mold. There generally are some words that always make it through - like Griff said, infidel being one of them.

I would have no trouble believing bin Laden laid the groundwork for it, but I personally think that it's been embellished.

You've now added that the translator is free to choose - and if that's the case, then hey, it's been embellished. Now it's no longer exactly what bin Laden said - it's been changed.

Look, you believe what you want. I'll be waiting for a literal translation of the original Arabic.
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
THE TRANSLATED LETTER, about 4,000 words long, was originally posted in Arabic on a Saudi Arabian Web site previously used by al-Qaida to disseminate messages, The Observer reported Sunday. Within the last two weeks British Islamists have translated the letter, said to be the most comprehensive explanation of bin Laden’s ideology to be issued for several years, and posted it on English-language Web sites operated from the United Kingdom, the newspaper said.
The Saudis must be loving that.
Quote:
Although there is no way to confirm the authenticity of the letter beyond doubt, senior Arab journalists in the Middle Eastern media believe that the letter is from bin Laden — one calling the missive “an extraordinary glimpse into his mind.”
Full story

Last edited by Nic Name; 11-25-2002 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 11-25-2002, 10:41 AM   #11
MaggieL
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nic Name
Are you suggesting that bin Laden is inarticulate in the Arabic version?
No, I'm pointing out that it is *extremely* difficult to preserve an articulate presentation when translating between languages, especially languages with substantial linguistic differences. One Romance language to another is an easier trip than say, Japanese or Arabic to English.

See Hofstadter's <i>Le Ton beau de Marot</i> for an exploration of this.
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