2

In an article about Putin's business trips, this passage appeared:

For security reasons during presidential trips across Russia the license plate is not placed on the front of the vehicle. As a result, when several identical vehicles pass by, the onlooker cannot tell them apart. The back room is needed for guiding the security personnel. This tradition has been in place since the time of Joseph Stalin. During foreign trips much depends on how the host country is willing to receive the delegation.

What can back room mean here? I found this dictionary entry, but it doesn't make sense in the sentence for me. And what does this sentence mean altogether?

If you want more context, here is the full article.

Thank you in advance for your answers!

Thanks to everybody! We found the original Russian text that this translation was made from. And indeed, ends up they translated "back number plate" as "back door", so the back number is kept there for the security guys, and it has nothing to do with security and conspiracy altogether. So, lost in translation again... Thanks for your help anyway!

  • 2
    That definition of backroom, as a secret meeting place, doesn't really fit in this context of a motorcade. Poster, are you sure it's not a mistranslation or OCR error of something that's referring to the rear licence plate? If it was changed to "The rear licence plate is needed for guiding the security personnel" then it would all make perfect sense. – Max Williams Jun 7 '16 at 14:19
  • I'm not convinced back room here has any direct connection to "powerful politicians". It's more related to backroom boys people who provide vital scientific and technical support for those in the field who become public figures; the expression derives from a reference by Lord Beaverbrook in 1941 to, ‘the boys in the back rooms…they are the men who do the work.’ That's to say it's those security guys hidden away from public view (probably watching via video feed) who are directing their colleagues through wireless earphones. – FumbleFingers Jun 7 '16 at 14:26
  • @MaxWilliams, could you please make your comment into an answer so I could accept it? You were right! – Natalya Ovchinnikova Jun 7 '16 at 14:33
  • "The boys in the back room" are folks you never see but who direct things "behind the scenes" and manage all the secret stuff, such as the order of the vehicles in the convoy and the meanings of any obscure markings on them. – Hot Licks Jun 7 '16 at 14:38
  • @NatalyaOvchinnikova done – Max Williams Jun 7 '16 at 14:53
3

The definition of backroom as a secret meeting place (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/backroom), doesn't really fit in this context of a motorcade.

Poster, are you sure it's not a mistranslation or OCR error of something that's referring to the rear licence plate? If it was changed to "The rear licence plate is needed for guiding the security personnel" then it would all make perfect sense.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.