Thursday, July 13, 2006

The American "Hassaniya"

Just before you read the stuff below, I have to explain the Hassaniya bit. They are a nomadic tribe in north-western Sudan, generally known in Sudan to be doing useless stuff when everybody else is trying to resolve a crisis. Hence the saying in Sudanese Arabic "Look what people are doing, and what the Hassaniya are doing".
Now read the extracts from Stars and Stripes, Dec 22, 2005 below and laugh out loud:

Operation names leave nothing to get lost in translation DOD ensures names mean same in English, Arabic By Jeff Schogol, Stars and StripesMideast edition, Thursday, December 22, 2005
ARLINGTON, Va. — The war against Iraqi insurgents is being waged increasingly in the Iraqis’ own language.
Iraqis are taking the lead in naming military operations, and have named several operations since the summer, said a Defense Department official.
On Monday, the 1st Brigade, 1st Iraqi Division planned and named “Operation Alkamra Almaner,” or “Moonlight,” to disrupt insurgents in Anbar province in Western Iraq, wrote Marines spokesman Capt. Jeffrey Pool via e-mail on Monday.
****** My comment: Names referring to moon and moonlight in Arabic are reserved for describing sexy and gorgeous females, usually young. What were the Iraqis thinking ;-)*****
(…) In military operations over the past year and a half, U.S. planners have picked names for military operations with the Arabic translation in mind, said Army Lt. Col. Tim Ryan, a plans officer (…) For example, planners named the assault against Fallujah in late 2004 “Al Fajar,” or “New Dawn,” for its symbolic meaning, Ryan said.
(…) Ryan said he did not know if the military has a list of suggested operational names that translate well into Arabic, but some words such as “hunter,” “thunder” and “lightning” are universally accepted as good names for operations.
The full article here:

For more on Hassaniya tribe - Google :-P

No comments: