Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - Page 10 News List

Japan’s NHK sued over use of English words

A tour operator, Sonoe Azuma, takes a picture of a stuffed toy during a visit to a tourist area in Tokyo, Japan on Oct. 4 last year.
一位名為Sonoe Azuma的導遊去年十月四日在日本東京一處觀光景點,為一個絨毛玩具拍照。

Photo: AFP

A disgruntled viewer is suing Japan’s national broadcaster for mental distress caused by an excessive use of words borrowed from English.

Hoji Takahashi, 71, is seeking 1.4 million yen (US$13,700) in damages from NHK.

“The basis of his concern is that Japan is being too Americanized,” his lawyer Mutsuo Miyata told the news agency AFP.

English became more prevalent in Japan after World War II during the US-led occupation. This was followed by a growing interest in American pop culture.

The country’s modern vocabulary is littered with borrowed words, many of which are changed to fit the Japanese phonic structure.

Takahashi, who is a member of a campaign group supporting the Japanese language, highlighted words such as “toraburu” (trouble), “risuku” (risk) and “shisutemu” (system) in NHK’s news and entertainment programs.

He accused NHK of irresponsibility by refusing to use native Japanese equivalents.

(Liberty Times)










1. prevalent adj.

普遍的;盛行的 (pu3 bian4 de5; sheng4 xing2 de5)

例: The unknown disease is prevalent in some countries.


2. be littered with phr.

使充滿 (shi3 chong1 man3)

例: The fire-place was littered with cigarette butts.


3. equivalent n.

同義語 (tong2 yi4 yu3)

例: Some English words have no Chinese equivalents.


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