Japanese broadcaster NHK sued - over too much English

NHKJapan's public broadcast network NHK is being sued due to what is believed to be an overuse of loan words (called gairaigo).

Loan words in the Japanese culture are foreign words that are used as a transliteration in Japanese. A large number of Japanese words are from Chinese origins, but in today's age, many are from English and other European languages. Most of the time they are written in Japan's katakana alphabet (while words of Japanese origin are written in hiragana), as well as in Chinese characters called kanji.

A 71-year-old Japanese man named Hoji Takahashi is suing NHK, saying that its overuse of these words has made its programming "unintelligible." He seeks $14,100 (1.41 million yen) in damages for "unnecessary emotional distress," saying he complained to the network about it but they ignored him.

 “The younger generation probably understands, but old people don’t understand the meaning when we hear words like ‘asurito’ (athlete) and ‘conpuraiansu’ (compliance),” Takahashi told a newspaper in Japan.

His lawyer said that Takahashi feels this is an attempt to make Japan resemble the United States.

Japan“The basis of his concern is that Japan is being too Americanized. There is a sense of crisis that this country is becoming just a province of America,” said Mutsuo Miyata, Takahashi’s lawyer.

NHK is not alone in its use of loan words, but it is unclear if Takahashi plans to sue the country's commercial broadcasters as well.

NHK does make a lot of its content available in English.  

It will be interesting to see what comes of this. 


Written by: Hamatosan
Jun 27th, 2013, 7:32 am

Images courtesy of NHK


Level 4 (93%)
Since: 02/Aug/12
Message Posted On Jun 28th, 2013, 7:37 am

I don't necessarily find this to be a silly lawsuit. If it a public broadcaster, it serves public interests. That includes all segments of a society, not just the young crowd.


Level 1 (20%)
Since: 07/Jun/12
Message Posted On Jun 27th, 2013, 1:32 pm

Americans tend to sue and ask for exorbitant amounts of money for stupid things as well, so that's one American tradtion he has decided to embrace.

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