Thu, Sep 09, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutors drop case against foul-mouthed Australian

By Ho Jui-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei prosecutors have dropped a case against an Australian who used an expletive against a residential community committee member — because they couldn’t find a specific translation for the word in an English-Chinese dictionary.

The incident occurred at about 10pm on May 1 at a building on Changrong Road in Sanchong City (三重市), Taipei County.

The community director, surnamed Wu (吳), turned up with a locksmith, surnamed Lu (盧), to replace a broken lock on the lobby door. When an Australian resident asked them what they were up to Wu, whose English is limited, said: “Nothing.”

The Australian reportedly shouted back: “Don’t fucken lie to me. I’ll get the police.”

Wu felt the Australian had slandered him by using an expletive.

When questioned, the Australian admitted to saying “fucken,” explaining that he had been suspicious of the pair and had used the word as a linguistic device to make his point more forcibly.

He said he was suspicious when Wu said they were doing “nothing,” because they were clearly doing something to the lock on the door. However, the Australian denied the word was meant as an insult.

When prosecutors checked an English-Chinese dictionary for “fucken,” they discovered that there was no Chinese translation.

While the word sounded like “fuck,” the Australian only admitted to saying “fucken.” Although it could be considered foul language, prosecutors felt there was insufficient reason to consider its use slander or defamation, so the charges were dropped.

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