Why bother? It’s German!

Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher is in critical condition following a skiing accident in France, and here’s how Esport3 reported the news:


“Schumacher” is not an English name, so this item may seem slightly off-topic for El Foreing Office. But it brings me to an important point: It is possible — dare I say imperative — for copyeditors to check words in languages they don’t know. I don’t speak German and I don’t give a hoot about Formula 1. But if I encountered a name like “Michael S(c)humacher” in my editing or translation work, I would be prompted to triple-check it precisely because of my ignorance. I would not dare to assume that my first stab at a German name was correct. The Spanish media seem to use the opposite strategy: the more unfamiliar a language, the less scrutiny it deserves.

Today’s lesson: A little humility goes a long way.

Hat tip to master sleuth Tim Barton for the screenshot.

UPDATE: Why hire copyeditors when you can crowdsource? The headline has been corrected.

ANOTHER UPDATE (8 January 2014): Making it painfully obvious that El Foreing Office is merely screaming into the void, Esport3 went and did it AGAIN:


Wishing Michael Schumacher a full recovery and, in the meantime, higher editorial standards in coverage of his terrible accident.


One thought on “Why bother? It’s German!

  1. Pingback: Guest rant: Tim Barton reads El Periódico | EL FOREING OFFICE

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