Japan man sues NHK for using too many foreign word

Last Updated: Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 13:51

Tokyo: A pensioner is suing Japan`s national broadcaster for emotional distress, claiming the overuse of foreign loanwords has rendered many of its programmes unintelligible, his lawyer said Thursday.


Hoji Takahashi, 71, is demanding USD 14,000 in damages for the broadcaster`s reliance on words borrowed from English, instead of their traditional Japanese counterparts.


"The basis of his concern is that Japan is being too Americanised," lawyer Mutsuo Miyata told AFP. "There is a sense of crisis that this country is becoming just a province of America," he said.



Japanese has a rich native vocabulary, but has a tradition of borrowing words from other languages, often quite inventively and sometimes changing their meaning in the process.



Most Japanese speakers do not think twice about using words including "trouble", "risk", "drive" or "parking", among many others.



Although English provides the bulk of loanwords, an inheritance of the post World War II US occupation and subsequent fascination with American culture, words borrowed from many other languages are also in use.



Thus, the word for part time work is a Japanised version of the German "arbeit", "concierge" comes from the French and the Spanish "pan" is understood as bread.



However, Japan`s phonic structure, in which sounds are usually made of a consonant and a vowel, renders many of these borrowed words unintelligible to speakers of the language from which they came.



Takahashi, a member of "Nihongo wo taisetsu ni suru kai" (The Treat Japanese as Important Association), brought his suit because entreaties to NHK had been ignored, his lawyer said.
"He decided to file the suit because the broadcaster did not bother to reply to him," said Miyata, a former high school classmate of the plaintiff.



"This is a matter of Japanese culture, the country itself, including its politics and its economy," he said.

NHK said it would refrain from commenting on the matter as it has not received any legal documents from the court.
AFP



First Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 13:51
TAGS:

More from zeenews

 
comments powered by Disqus
Party Won Trends Swing
BJP 122 122 76
SHS 63 63 19
INC 42 42 -40
NCP 41 41 -21
MNS 1 1 -12
OTH 19 19 -22
Party wise Trends/Tally | Key Candidates | Vote Share
Constituency Wise Results Interactive Map
Party Won Trends Swing
BJP 47 47 43
INLD 19 19 -12
INC 15 15 -25
HJCBL 2 2 -4
OTH 7 7 -2
Party wise Trends/Tally | Key Candidates | Vote Share
Constituency Wise Results Interactive Map