Edin Dzeko’s interview: Lost in Translation?

A storm has been brewing in the past couple of days over a September interview Edin Dzeko gave to Sanela Prašović Gadžo on BHT1 TV in Bosnia.

Dzeko, it was claimed by the Sunday Mirror, admitted that the dressing room DID turn against Roberto Mancini late last season. This article was penned by Simon Mullock, a big City fan, so most likely there was no ulterior motive, but did he go too far with the headline?


Dzeko wasn’t happy with the way Mullock presented the interview and took to Twitter this morning to make his feelings known.

This isn’t be the first time a foreign language interview by a footballer has led to controversy, with players often defending their comments by playing the “lost in translation” card. In many cases the player is right (then there are those like Tevez, who usually say whatever they want without thinking much about the ramifications) and the newspaper reporting it has just botched the translation in some way. The nuances of a foreign conversation can be missed when translated into English and things can easily be taken out of context.

A full video of the interview is on YouTube with subtitles. Most of the relevant remarks come just after 10 minutes and to be fair to Simon Mullock, there aren’t many differences between what he wrote in the body of his article and what the subtitles say.

It’s most likely the eye-catching headline that has upset Dzeko, because he doesn’t appear to say that the dressing room turned against Mancini and even says “We didn’t have any major issues”.

There certainly doesn’t seem to be any mention of the large scale revolt that the article implies. A player revolt may have happened – many credible people in the football media believe it did – but Dzeko appears quite diplomatic and avoids going into any gory details about the relationship between Mancini and his players.

Dzeko has received a fair bit of stick for the comments. When I posted the direct quotes from the Mirror on @City_Watch, there was a lot of anger aimed at the Bosnian.

Maybe he should have said less, but he was well within his rights to say what he did on Twitter. Many people read a headline and make their mind up – and the headline does not seem to correlate with the actual story. What do you think?


4 thoughts on “Edin Dzeko’s interview: Lost in Translation?

  1. Actually, Edin has some right to complain about the translation as well, since the English subtitles on BHT1 that Mullock is depending on took a little liberty with one crucial line.

    This is during the response to the key question about the incident between Dzeko and the club president (10:44-11:12). The subtitles go as follows:

    “When it comes to our mutual relation, we respect each other, and he was aware that I didn’t feel too happy during the last two years, because I was off the field. When the new coach arrived, president asked me this, informally. This question came after I complained few times to him about former coach, and he is well aware of the situation in the club.”

    But in fact, that last two sentence that Edin spoke were:

    “Sto se tice mene mi imamo stvarno korektan odnos i… i on je znao da ja nisam bio bas najsrecni, hajde da kazem tako… zadnje… zadnje dvije godine, s obzirom da nisam igrao i to je jednostavno… novi trener je dosao i, eto, cisto ono, hajde da kazem tako u hodu me je pitao jesam li sad zadovoljan, s obzirom da sam se i njemu zalio jedno vrijeme i on zna kakva je situacija bila.”

    Which literally translates to:

    “As far as me individually, we have a really good understanding (i.e. mutual respect), and… and he knew that I wasn’t exactly the happiest the last… well let’s say the last two years, considering that I wasn’t playing, and that’s just… the new manager arrived and, well, [the president] just informally asked me if I was happy now, considering that I had complained to him at one time as well and he knows what the situation was like.”

    Now to be fair to everyone, it’s a subtle distinction, but I think it’s an important one. Edin never said that he “complained to the president a few times about the former coach.” That’s really direct in English and it comes off as if he was repeatedly pressuring the president to fire Mancini or something. The original is much more diplomatic: he was unhappy, he occasionally had a chance to speak to the president, and he mentioned that he disagreed with Mancini over his playing time. Nothing scandalous IMO.

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  4. I agree with this story.
    I support Edin Dzeko
    I’m an Mancity fan,I love Edin Dzeko
    Thank you for information sharing

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