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And Bloggers Are Supposed To Be The Unprofessional Ones

August 21, 2010

The guys over at Pension Plan Puppets have been plagiarized, not once, but now multiple times by the Toronto Sun.

The story in short form is as follows: PPP posted an article that contained an interview from Czech magazine on their site. Since the interview was in Czech, a reader of PPP translated it for them. Along comes Dave Fuller of the Sun who reads the PPP article and takes the translation directly from them and uses it in his article for the paper. PPP at no point is given credit/citation for the translation and when the blog contacts the paper, they are told “get over it.”

Here’s the issue, the Sun claims they used Google Translator for their article. I can speak and write in two languages. I have used Google Translator at times when I have difficultly understanding something written in my second language. Therefore I am obligated to raise this:

For those of you not from Indy, this is cover art from the band Phoenix Bodies. The name of this album is “Raise the Bullshit Flag.” That is precisely what I am doing.

I find it hard to believe that Google Translator created a translation of an interview that was exactly the same as the one featured by PPP. Here’s why, in my years of doing translations and listening to others perform them, I have never seen two people create EXACTLY the same translation from dialogue such as an interview. Yes, the meaning of what was said is the same, but wording and sentence structure is sometimes moved around at the translator’s discretion. Not to mention the fact that translations from computer programs are almost always screwed up in some manner.

If this was an English language article that Mr. Fuller had seen on their blog, then there is no need to cite PPP. The issue is that the translation was an original work of PPP and therefore the Sun should be obligated to credit them as the source of it. I understand that papers for the most part don’t want to acknowledge bloggers, but we do work that I honestly believe is better that what most newspapers give us half the time. The Sun needs to give credit where credit is due.

To follow this on-going story, check out Pension Plan Puppets here.

Also, if you’d like to give Dave Fuller a piece of you mind, click here.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2010 1:36 pm

    Yeah, I’m calling shenanigans on that as well. I’ve even used Google Translator on the same thing multiple times and gotten different results. That’s dishonest and dishonorable journalism from the Sun.

  2. Katie permalink
    August 21, 2010 2:03 pm

    “Since the interview was in Swedish,…”

    Man, it was in CZECH! :D Just a small correction. I agree with you completely.

    • August 22, 2010 3:53 pm

      Yeah, that’s what I figured, but based on something I read on PPP I thought they said it was in Swedish. Minor error, I shall fix it.

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