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How France Describes One Who Decaptitates Innocent People

If you're one of those people who hate when the words insurgents or resistance fighters is used to describe terrorists, you're gonna love this: From Reuters France, first in French, then translated: A trois jours du transfert officiel de souveraineté, la situation restait très tendue dimanche en Irak, où des activistes menacent de décapiter trois otages turcs... At three days of the official transfer of sovereignty, the situation remained very tended Sunday in Iraq, where activists threaten to decapitate three hostages Turkish... Activists. Activists. I wonder how they will report it when these "activists" take hold of a French soldier in Iraq, I bet..... Oh. Nevermind. via LGF

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To help clear the Blog Fog, create a link and ping a TrackBack to this post... You say Activist, I say Terrorist. Michele has the scoop. [Read More]

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Via Michele, sinister Yankee loyalist Reuters France writes: At three days of the official transfer of sovereignty, the situation remained very tended Sunday in Iraq, where activists threaten to decapitate three hostages Turkish... You read that right,... [Read More]

» Al-Reuters hits bottom, digs from c0llision.org
In French, with my bolding (translated in English, for your Arrogant American Imperialist Pigs): A trois jours du transfert officiel de souveraineté, la situation restait très tendue dimanche en Irak, où des activistes menacent de ... [Read More]

Comments

This kind of wordplay, this kind of Orwellian semantics, is not innocent.

PETA activists are totally nutz, but they are not murdering thugs; but Reuters would have you believe murdering thugs are not different than PETA members.

Reuters and the Ass. Press have long described terrorists as "militants," militants as "activists" and activists as "advocates." Making the bigger jump from terrorism to activism was just the next step.

You know, I'd have to say, that's really very biased, calling them "militants" or "activists." Come on, don't we realize they should be called "freedom fighters" and "patriotic resisters against imperialism?"

I mean really now. Yeesh.

Come on. Do you REALLY think the "activists" are going to take French hostage...EVER? I mean, what's the point? They don't support us, nor will they. Oh, they may SAY that they do, but they don't.

Linda

France is on the Islamist hit list, make no mistake. Chirac tried to keep headscarves out of the French public schools, which is an insult to Islam. And humiliation is a beheading offense for Islamism.

Those "activists" won't get a hold of any French soldiers. They're too busy cowering in France.

Better to let those "activists" behead a few French "journalists" to change their terminology.

Reporters Sans Frontieres is dot-fr, you know.

my french is rusty, but i looked up an article on french wikipedia and it says that activiste is a very recent term, and while it can be used for our definition of activists, it also is basically equal to militant (depending on the context). since i'm not fluent in french, it seems stupid to me that they wouldn't just use terroriste or militant - however, we can't always be assured that the meaning of a foreign word is exactly what we assume. a lot of times a seemingly harmless word takes on a lot of negative or positive connotations within the culture.

but if they're using activiste to mean like, some protestor, then that's really stupid.

ah. i found an article with a french-speaking media activist that notes: "You may note that in French, the word 'activiste' conjures almost the same negative associations as the English word 'militant'"

Just because a word looks like a Frenchified version of the English word "activist" doesn't mean that the definition and the usage are identical, sheesh. You might want to research things a bit before testily posting about them.

"I wonder how they will report it when these "activists" take hold of a French soldier in Iraq, I bet....."

I'm r.e.a.l sure they are going to find any of those in Iraq soon. Too bad, it might be interesting to see how the frenchies would react. Probably have to ask for US help (again)

According to Merriam Webster, a militant is ‘aggressively active (as in a cause)’

Terrorism is "the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion"

The most accurate description of people who behead for fun and profit would be ‘followers of Islamic law’, since this practice is legal (and encouraged) by these laws. But there is also no doubt that they’re using terror as a means of coercion.

The French world for terrorist is 'terroriste.' It’s easy to spell, easily recognized and accurate. Their use of words like ‘activist’ and 'militant' proves that accuracy isn’t their first priority.

What Karas said-- they're speaking another language, people. For God's sake.

Michele-- you're reaching.

See Mary's comment above. It's not the first time I translated from there. It is, however, the first time I've seen that word used in regards to terrorists.

i forgot to mention that although most commonly used to mean militants (in this sort of context) it can also be on par with "terrorist". seriously. if you don't speak the langauge at all, then don't presume to understand the meaning.

(1) How "France" describes?

(2) More examples of French cowardice and indifference to death, from the possibly made up country of Afghanistan:

(a) http://www.pbs.org/newshour/media/media_watch/july-dec01/reporters_11-12.html

(b) http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2003/11/18/2003076302

© http://www.spacedaily.com/2002/021231120010.c4jmdkfv.html

Michele you are doing fine. Activiste does translate as activist, and it is a severe stretch to use it for terrorist or blood thirsty savage, such as those in Iraq.

The wire services often use this sort of non-judgemental language. If you look at the language from the US wire services you see the same sort of thing:

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A militant Iraqi group threatened Sunday night to behead a U.S. Marine with Utah ties whom it said it had abducted from a military base, unless the United States releases all Iraqi prisoners, according to a video aired on the Qatar-based television network al-Jazeera. [emphasis mine] - Tribune Staff and Wire Services

Calling a terrorist a "militant" or "activist" is definitely a stretch, but it's probably far more related to the policy of an over-emphasis on being "non-partisian" or "non-judgemental" in wire reports than to anything you could say specifically about the French.

catherine

I'm curious... how did you get from
my french is rusty, but i looked up an article on french wikipedia and it says that activiste is a very recent term
to the snarky
if you don't speak the langauge at all, then don't presume to understand the meaning

in less than an hour?

well, i studied french for five years, researched what the term activiste in french meant, learned that it can possibly mean "militant" in different situations, called my french grandfather, and came to the conclusion that while terrorist would have obviously been a better choice in this word situation, that the reuters article probably wasn't calling the terrorists simple activists. and i was taking issue with michele and the LGF people for doing so without having checked it out.

Catherine

This is not a new argument about either Reuters or AP. They go out of their way in headlines and leading paragraphs to manipulate their presentation of "news" in a decidedly anti-Western way. That includes using the terms "insurgents, rebels, gunmen, or militants" to describe the perpetuators of the most heinous of terrorist acts. This is not an 'oopsy' by Reuters, where we can be inclined to give them the benefit of a doubt on picking a word not quite appropriate. This is Reuters showing their BIAS crosses even language barriers and they are consistent in their pattern of not using the words "terrorism" or "terrorist" in any situation in which the West is attacked by Islamists.

well, okay. i was just pointing out that the french activiste does not necessarily equal the english activist, and that they more than likely meant it in the "militant" sense.

catherine

Even if I were to accept your argument, it doesn't change the point. Reuters downplays [anti-Western] terrorists.

"Ich bin ein activistes" translates in German to "I am a jelly terrorist".

/joke

If any of you are actually wondering why you don't see them using the words that you want, here are the Reuters' policies that kept them from personally saying "terrorist" in this case:

We are committed to reporting the facts and in all situations avoid the use of emotive terms. The only exception is when we are quoting someone directly or in indirect speech. We aim to report objectively actions, identity and background and pay particular attention to all our coverage in extremely sensitive regions. [emphasis mine] - Reuters

You'll notice that although the reporter used "activistes," he included this quote from the Turkey Defense Minister:

"La Turquie lutte depuis plus de 20 ans contre les activités terroristes (...). Ils demandent beaucoup de choses. Nous ne les avons jamais pris au sérieux", a déclaré à la presse le ministre de la Défense Vecdi Gonul. [emphasis mine]

Now, I don't know much French at all, but I think that means "terrorist activities" or something like that. So it seems to me like this guy is going as far as he can under the Reuters' policies. If you want to call that "anti-American" or whatever, that's fine, but I think you should at least attempt to address the point that it's the official policy of most any wire service to avoid having their reporters use emotionally charged terms, and the reason they give for this is that it people should be able to make up their own minds based on the facts.

Soli

Reuter's lies. "Terror[ism/ist]" is not emotive. Go ahead, look it up here.
4 : violence (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands
Most thinking people accept this definition, knowing when the target is not military, but civilians, then the label of "terrorism" cannot be avoided except for political reasons. Reuters anti-American/anti-Israel bias is just too well known, regardless of "policy."

Darleen,

"Terrorism is not emotive." ROFL! You know, you remind me of a stoner I debated in college who tried to say we should legalize weed because "marijuana" is just "a harmless plant fiber, aka 'hemp'" because he found it as entry 7a in some unabridged dictionary. Here's the 3 previous definitions that you left out:

1 : a state of intense fear 2 a : one that inspires fear : SCOURGE b : a frightening aspect c : a cause of anxiety : WORRY d : an appalling person or thing; especially : BRAT
3 : REIGN OF TERROR

Now, answer me this ... I can't really read French, but did the article say something like "activists have kidnapped a marine and are threatening to 'décapiter' him unless their demands of the government are met?" If it did, then I guess they just called them terrorists by your definition, they just used more words. How many people reading this story failed to understand that because the reporter didn't spoon-feed it as much as you want?

How many people are going well ... they kidnapped a marine, they are threatening to cut off his head and making demands ... The Turkish Minister of Defense describes the situation as "les activités terroristes" which probably means what I think it does ... but ... the reporter, he called them "activistes" while telling me all this, so they are just nice friendly people? Seriously, how many?

sacre bleu! terroristes

catherine

Even if I were to accept your argument, it doesn't change the point. Reuters downplays [anti-Western] terrorists.

fine. except that wasn't my point, or my argument. my argument was that in this sense activiste does not equal activist in the english sense. i don't know how much clearer i can make it.

Man, its semantics and translations.

Words have different meanings in different cultures, in an Islamic culture the word fundamentalist means someone who is dedicated to the scholarly teachings of Islam, yet in English it means a violant millitant.

You can't compair like for like with translations especially in English which has a dearth of words.

In France I think that the word
means something closer to a rioter or a volitile protester.

You have to take each word in its use and then translate it for meaning provide a literal translation from a dictionary.

I have to translate things every day between from Chinese and know that you sometimes have to choose an assosiated word rather than a literal translation because of different meanings.