Sunday, March 08, 2009

Peregruzka, er, Perezagruzka

iStock/Thinkstock
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton experienced a global gaffe when she presented a gift to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that was intended to display the Russian word for "reset" -- having to do with Vice President Joe Biden's light-hearted comment that the U.S. wants to "reset" relations with Russian.

The gift read "peregruzka." Mrs. Clinton said, "We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?"

Lavrov answered, "You got it wrong." Peregruzka means "over-charged," he explained. "Reset" is "perezagruzka." Needless to say, the U.S. officials said they would correct the gift.

Now, my advice to all of you who are in the translation business? Contact the White House and get to work!

Read more here.

4 comments:

Jim DeLaHunt said...

Not to mention, that "perezagruzka" word looks to be in Latin script. In Cyrillic script, wouldn't it be something like "перезагрузка"?

Laurel Delaney said...

Jim ... according to Google translation, I believe you are correct.

Thanks for setting the record straight.

Anonymous said...

And to think these are the people who are running our government.

Every day we get closer and closer to the vision in "Idiocracy"

Sam said...

Watching the news conference tickled my funny bone. Even if the secretary of state did not prove a good Russian vocabulary, the word mix-up brought about a tinge of humor to an otherwise serious issue.