French TV channel TF1’s live translation of the first words of Pope Francis after he was elected drew complaints from a large number of viewers.

As the Pope recited the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” in his address, viewers criticised the rough translation of these prayers.

The TV channel quickly posted an apology on its website

“Many of you were upset about our translation of Pope Francis’ first address to the world and to Catholics. The “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” were not correctly transcribed in French. For this, we are truly sorry. It was an instant translation, with the risks and unexpected challenges that broadcasting a special event can sometimes present. But, as you know, TF1’s primary intention was to allow you, our viewers, to experience this historic event live. Once again, we are truly sorry.”

Did the channel pick the wrong interpreter? Was the interpreter under too much pressure?

As one viewer posted on-line, it is best if an interpreter is familiar with the subject

“Yesterday I tried to follow your channel’s coverage of the first pictures and, most importantly, the first words of Pope Francis. The Pope chose to talk in Italian and quite rightly, you provided a translator. The hesitations, repetitions, and missing translations made it impossible to understand the Pope’s words. The attempt at a literal translation of the two prayers, well known to more than a billion people all over the world, was the last straw. It was not worthy of the event.”

Over to you, translators, Internet users – tell us what you think!

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