How Israeli Media Translated Trump’s Complaints About “Shithole Countries” by the Forward

How Israeli Media Translated Trump’s Complaints About “Shithole Countries”

Donald Trump’s remarks about immigration yesterday sparked outrage at home and abroad. At a bipartisan meeting of lawmakers to discuss immigration policy, when speaking on the topic of immigrants from Africa and Haiti, Trump asked, “Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?”

News media around the world then found themselves forced to find translations for Trump’s remarks that conveyed his derision without offending readers and viewers. Taiwan’s Central News Agency translated “shithole countries” as “countries where birds don’t lay eggs.” German media used the word “drecksloch,” which can mean a garbage dump or a hellhole. One Finnish commentator conveyed Trump’s phrase as “asshole countries.”

So how did Israeli media take up the translation challenge?

Most papers — including Haaretz, Maariv and Yedioth Ahronoth — translated “shithole” as “מחורבן”: m’churban, an adjective which roughly translates to lousy, trashy or rotten. The word can have the same modifying role as the word “f—king” in English.

However, the website Arutz 7, which caters largely to Israel’s ultra-Orthodox population, ran a single headline about the incident: “Trump Apologizes For Harsh Remarks About African Countries Where Migrants Come From.”

Early Friday morning, Trump tweeted about the backlash to his profane remark.


Contact Ari Feldman at feldman@forward.com or on Twitter @aefeldman

Trump’s Shithole Comments Translated By Israeli Media

Author

Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman

Ari Feldman is a staff writer at the Forward. He covers Jewish religious organizations, synagogue life, anti-Semitism and the Orthodox world. If you have any tips, you can email him at feldman@forward.com. Follow him on Twitter @aefeldman.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

How Israeli Media Translated Trump’s Complaints About “Shithole Countries”

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close