Three ribosomal ambiguity (Ram) mutants, changed in ribosomal protein S4, have been examined with respect to elongation rate and misreading of translation in vivo and in vitro. Ram mutants increase misreading of nonsense codons in vivo, compared to wild type, between 2-50 times depending on the nature of the nonsense codon, its position, and which rpsD allele is present. Ram ribosomes also show an increased error frequency in vitro. The elongation rate of translation does not seem to be significantly changed, neither in vivo nor in vitro, irrespective of which rpsD allele is present. We suggest that there exists no general relationship between the accuracy and the overall speed of translation in Ram strains.