Letters: A Clarification; Lego Stadium We clarify the role of translators vs. interpreters; and listeners weigh in on our conversation with Paul Janssen, who built a replica of Ohio State's famous stadium out of 1 million Lego pieces. Hosts Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read e-mails from our listeners.
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Letters: A Clarification; Lego Stadium

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Letters: A Clarification; Lego Stadium

Letters: A Clarification; Lego Stadium

Letters: A Clarification; Lego Stadium

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We clarify the role of translators vs. interpreters; and listeners weigh in on our conversation with Paul Janssen, who built a replica of Ohio State's famous stadium out of 1 million Lego pieces. Hosts Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read e-mails from our listeners.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Now to your comments about our program, and a clarification. Yesterday in our coverage of the White House press conference featuring the Chinese president, we explained that he was speaking through a translator.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Well, that sent Judy Jenner(ph) of Las Vegas running to her computer, where she typed out this:

(Reading) I must correct you on your incorrect use of the term 'translator.' Translators work with the written word, while interpreters work with the spoken word.

And she adds, I am both.

BLOCK: So we checked with Corinne McKay from the American Translators Association, which represents both translators and interpreters.

Ms. CORINNE MCKAY (American Translators Association): So the main difference between translators and interpreters is that translators work in writing and interpreters work in speaking. I'm an NPR fanatic, and one of the only things I don't like about NPR is that your reporters consistently say 'speaking through a translator,' and you can't speak through a translator. You only speak through an interpreter.

SIEGEL: Duly noted. Well, now to yesterday's interview with Paul Janssen. He is a professor of physiology and cell biology at the Ohio State University. I didn't talk with him about cells. We talked with him about Legos. Professor Janssen built a replica of Ohio State's football stadium entirely of Legos.

BLOCK: Matt Weinberg(ph) of Irvine, California follows us on Twitter, and Robert, he tweeted this about one phrase that you used. He says: I love Robert Siegel for referring to Lego builders as Lego users. It makes Legos sound like a new type of drug.

SIEGEL: (Laughing) Lego-tics. And Mindy Stubsen(ph) of San Luis Obispo, California was left with a lingering question: What did he do with the stadium after he built it in his basement?

BLOCK: Well, we found the answer. Janssen plans to display his Lego stadium on campus and hopefully use it to fundraise for his research.

SIEGEL: Keep your emails and your tweets coming. You can write to us at npr.org or join us on Twitter at npratc.

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