Japan’s NHK sued over use of English words 日本NHK電視台因使用英語外來詞挨告

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - Page 10

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)