, Bridging the
    communication gap


ABBYY Lingvo x3

L. Visson

Terms for describing Terrorism

Since in today's world newspapers, radio and television programs around the globe are all too often filled with accounts of terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and other such horrific acts, the Russian-English/English-Russian translator or interpreter is well advised to have a variety of synonyms in his active linguistic baggage. Shocking, a word commonly used to describe terrorist acts, can be supplemented or replaced by a wide variety of negative adjectives such as abominable, (), appalling (), atrocious ( , ), brutal (), frightful ( , ), hateful (), heinous (), hideous (), horrible (), monstrous (), obnoxious ( , ), odious ( , ), outrageous ( , ), repugnant, (), repulsive (), sickening (), terrible ( , ), vile (). Another useful word is unspeakable unspeakable acts imply actions so awful that one is loath to even talk of them. These deeds may also be brazen (). A common Russian adjective describing such acts is , as in . While the dictionary defines as treacherous or perfidious, in many contexts these may not be appropriate translations. In the given phrase, the insidious or fiendish sophistication of the terrorists would successfully render the phrase's meaning.

Reprehensible implies something which is both and revolting. Disgusting is somewhat too colloquial for such situations. And the correct adjective to render is barbaric, not barbarian, as in barbaric bombings or the barbaric and sick individuals who committed these acts.

The individual who carries out such acts is the perpetrator, and he commits, carries out or perpetrates his evil deeds. The individuals who order him to do so, or are the masterminds, ringleaders or instigators of violence. While the word often comes up in reference to terrorists, the English word bandits should be avoided. A far better translation is thug; the or of terrorists are their henchmen, accomplices, or those who aid and abet terrorists. is better translated as criminal gangs than as bands. o (cause) can justify the actions of any (misguided, deluded) individuals, would-be martyrs () or fanatics.

While , as terrorists are often called, can be translated as a strong and merciless enemy, ruthless is a more idiomatic translation of , and a very useful word to describe someone who has no scruples/moral principles/will stop at nothing/will not shrink/shirk from perpetrating any kind of terrorist act.

is the vitally, critically important or crucial issue of the continuous/continued further revitalization (activization is not a good choice here) of effective cooperation in combating terrorism. can be rendered in several ways: the war on terrorism/campaign against terrorism/struggle/fight against terrorism. And can be rendered as the high(est) priority objective of resolving (not solving!) the challenge/issue/problem of the fight/struggle against terrorism.

, , are acts which shocked, stunned, rocked, or convulsed the world, or made the world reel. While are often translated as hotbeds or flashpoints of terrorism, in some contexts these can be strongholds or bastions.

We often hear about the the key to or prerequisite for success in the war on terrorism. enemy/adversary/opponent has by no means/has not yet been defeated/conquered/smashed. The forces of evil are (desperately) trying/eager/out/to acquire weapons of mass destruction. There are also a great deal of/a plethora of/incontrovertible/irrefutable evidence regarding terrorist activities.

/ can be translated as Terrorism must be eliminated/destroyed/wiped out/ended. This also requires putting an end to its , or breeding grounds. joint or common efforts are needed to defeat the terrorists, and those involved in this struggle must pool or unite (not share) their efforts. What is required is a . Better than a comprehensive approach would be multipronged or multifaceted. Also needed are , vigorous/resolute (much better than firm), united and considered actions on the part of the international community. As the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov stated in his speech to the UN Security Council in January, 2003.

, , . . : .

The translator here is presented with plenty of interesting possibilities. The use of terror can either doom or put an end to the political strivings (better than ambitions) of those engaged/involved in terrorism, and (and is necessary in English!) clearly/unequivocally/stamps/marks/brands them as criminals and utter/absolute pariahs/the lowest of the low/places them beyond the pale. There can be no justification (whatever) for their actions. And we must take appropriate action against them: the criminals must be punished/punishment must be meted out for their actions (or, much better) for what they have wrought. In other words, they cannot be allowed to act with impunity. Terrorists must not be allowed to to escape from justice.

Those who , harbor/give refuge to terrorists must also be punished. As the Foreign Minister pointed out in his speech: . For Russia, strengthening/consolidating international solidarity/unity in the war on/campaign/fight against terrorism is not empty rhetoric/hollow platitudes/mere political gesturing/lip service/mere verbiage. All those who are fighting terrorism must harbor/cherish the hope that terrorism will be eliminated.

And the translator/interpreter must take care to keep abreast of the growing vocabulary of political, military and humanitarian terminology so frequently used in discussion of this scourge of the twenty-first century.