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(BBC)   Japanese man sues nation's largest broadcaster because of encroaching English loan words. Sounds like someone's in deep toraburu   ( divider line
    More: Strange, English Words, NHK, English, Japanese, Japan, mental distress  
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3476 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Jun 2013 at 12:05 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-06-27 12:42:06 PM  
2 votes:
He sounds French.

In the long run, this kind of thing must fail. Loan words only shock because they are new, like changes in meaning or grammar. The school-marms of prescriptive grammar attempt to hold back the flood but they ultimately fail because the masses ignore their prescriptions or only adopt them in special contexts, such as when talking to school marms.

And because it is the novelty that is the crime, the school marms and prescrptive grammarians fail to recognize the many thousands or tens of thousands of cases that have been accepted in the past.

Take, for example, the tendancy to form nouns from verbs. When the jargon or slang is new, this shocks the monkey out of the old folks and those who have diligently followed the rules, but there are already thousands of old nouns made from verbs.

You may resist a new verb such as "to impact" and insist on "to have an impact on", but it is a losing game. Resistence is futile.

Some of the worst novelties will die out--slang is constantly changing because the in group that creates it abandons it for some newer, shinier thing or in disgust when other people adopt it. The song "My generation" contains the protest of one such young fool. Argot because useless once the cops catch on, and slang becomes outmoded when the old folks (anybody over 25) start using it.

The same is true of loan words.

There are more non-Anglo Saxon words in English than there are Anglo Saxon words. The Anglo-Saxon vocabulary is about 10,000 words perhaps. French gave English sever times that many.

Those innovations that are not so fugly that they continue to shock after more than a generation in use often go native and become invisible even to the prickliest of prescriptions. The most a prescriptionist can hope to do is explain why we should say one thing rather than another. We do lose a lot of valuable words and grammar if nobody fights back.

Personally, I am annoyed by the anglicized or americanized pronounciation of several foreign words which I think could easily and should be pronounced as in the original French. Mauve (German, IIRC) and clique are two of my pet peeves. There's no need to change their pronuncation. They are easy to say. We have the vowels we need for the job.

Then there is this BS abou coyote or coyoté. Three pronunciations, each stupider than the last. Not to mention pseudo-hispanic variants.

Mind you, it can be annoying to listen to someone who uses too many foreign borrowings, and even worse in the use of pseudo-foreign words that "sound" English or what have you.

All languages have these. In English we say things the French do not, such as cul de sac for impasse and nom de plume where a French person might use nom de guerre. The French recognize that the suffix "-ing" is peculiarly English, so they have invented a number of pseudo-English words such as le shampooing and le haut-standing. There are many of these fake words in France, fewer perhaps in Quebec where faux amis and cognates used in a foreign sense are more common among both Montreal English and Quebec French. Bienvenu(e) for you're welcome is an example. In French, bienvenu(e) literally means you are well come. It does not mean thank you.

The Quebec Office de la langue nationale has done some good work (and some foolishness) in creating French terms so Quebec francophones don't have to speak half-in-English, half-in-French. Many of these terms have been accepted in common usage and it's just as well.

On the other hand, I am fascinated and delighted by the verbal calesthentics that the actors on L'Acadie Man, a cartoon set in New Brunswick display. They can switch between French and English and several hybrids thereof at well. It adds a whole new level, or levels, to language.

Perfect bilingualism (native speakers of two or more languages at once) means you have what engineers call several degrees of freedom not available to unilingual speakers or even those who have learned a foreign language or two.

I. Am. Amazed. I love it.

Prescriptivism would kill all these wonderful linguistic freedoms by forcing us to speak one language, codified forever.

Instead we get to play freely and invent the language or languages we need as we go along.

There is something to say for rules, but as JHC said, "Man is not made for the Sabbath, but Sabbath for Man."

The question, as Humpty Dumpty said wisely, is who is to be master. That is all. One should be master of one's language, not slave to it.

Freedom and natural language are not cut and dried museum pieces. They change. Change is of their essence. The world changes and the language changes with it, changing it, and being changed by it, in a perpetual interaction beyond the control of control freaks and even governments.
2013-06-27 12:25:43 PM  
2 votes:
Half of the English language is borrowed from French,  way more than the handful of words they list.
2013-06-27 01:50:23 PM  
1 vote:

lostcat: the whole L/R thing, which is a real issue. Often you can be reading the (katakana) version of an English word and just not recognize it bacause you are reading the symbols as Rs and they are actually representing an English L sound.

That's because you're confusing the Japanese らりるれろ consonant sound for the "R" sound.  It's neither "L" nor "R", but something different onto itself, even though it kind of resembles one or the other to English ears.
2013-06-27 12:53:01 PM  
1 vote:
Dude needs to have a bieru or 3 and chill out.
2013-06-27 12:47:10 PM  
1 vote:
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 ($14,300; £9,300) in damages from NHK.

He may reject English loanwords, but he has clearly assimilated the greatest Americanism of them all - frivolous lawsuits.
2013-06-27 12:26:30 PM  
1 vote:
Oh no, there goes Tokyo.
2013-06-27 12:19:03 PM  
1 vote:
Welcome to the NHK./Too obscure?
2013-06-27 12:18:38 PM  
1 vote:
2013-06-27 12:12:14 PM  
1 vote:
Interesting. I detest the use of loan words when there are perfectly good, explicit equivalents.

People all over the world replace their native words with english ones, to show separate themselves from the poor people.

It's all fun and games until someone has kids... and you should hear their kids speak.

Poor native language vocabulary and terrible english.

/joke's on them I guess
2013-06-27 12:09:11 PM  
1 vote:
Get used to it. Just about every major language these days has been anglicized for the most part.
2013-06-27 12:07:28 PM  
1 vote:
To paraphrase Basil Fawlty: Who does he think won the war, anyway?
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