Granit Xhaka posted an apology to the Arsenal fans on his Instagram account on Thursday, but it hasn’t been translated very well.
The original statement was obviously written in German, which makes sense given that’s the player’s first language. As a result, the English version comes off as a bit clunky at times, which isn’t a huge problem.
The only place where the translation conveys a significantly different message to what was intended is when it comes to the actual apology.
In the German, Xhaka writes: “Dies war nicht meine Absicht und tut mir leid.”
Multiple German translators have confirmed this means: “This was not my intention and I’m sorry.” A straightforward apology for what he admits was disrespect towards the fans.
For some reason, whoever translated the post wrote: “That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.” Obviously, this sounds much less like an apology and more like he’s shifting the blame onto the way his actions were perceived.
It’s a shame because the inevitable result is plenty of Arsenal fans on social media digging into him for what they see as a weak apology that doesn’t take responsibility. Instead, it’s just a bad translation of the opposite.
It’s important to give people some leeway in these situations. It’s not easy to make a statement in a language other than your mother tongue when every word is going to be scrutinised by thousands of people.
Xhaka’s intention was clearly to make amends, and that’s how his statement should be viewed.