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We don’t need your offensive offer of help…

Here’s an interesting exchange from the circus at Davos from Anna Ershova, who points out that something got lost in translation (my gratitude to Veronica Khokhlova for the link):

Dell asks the very obviously annoyed Putin: “How can we as an IT sector help you broaden the economy as you move out of the crisis and take advantage of that broad scientific talent you have?”

I am not defending Putin, but if I were a leading woman of the powerful nation who could easily leave Europe freezing and attack/defend myself from a neighboring country, I would be annoyed, too, it a chairperson of the computer company not well-known in my country offered me what sounded like his help.

(I am aware that Dell is the second-largest computer maker in theworld. I also believe that the IT has a huge potential to broaden anycountry’s economy. Technology in general has a great misunderestimatedpotential in politics, economics etc. Russia also needs some ITimprovements. I also don’t know what kind of translation Putin heardfrom his interpreter, but — see the explanation below — presumably notan excellent one. BUT for Michael Dell to ask a question like that to aleader of the country where any big company is viewed as potentialgovernment property has a high explosive potential.)

The simultaneous translation has Putin say this: “We don’t needhelp. We are not invalids… We don’t have a limited mental capacity.”

He actually said this: “You know, the trick is that you don’t needto help us. We are not disabled. Those who really need help are thepoor, one needs to help people who help limited capabilities, one needsto help the retired, one needs to help the developing countries…”

The transcript is published here. For the Russian speakers, here is the same thing in Russian: