Skip to comments.Tokyo Governor Sued for Insulting French
Posted on 07/13/2005 12:40:59 PM PDT by saquin
TOKYO - A group of teachers and translators in Japan on Wednesday sued Tokyo's outspoken nationalist governor for allegedly calling French a "failed international language," a news report said.
Twenty-one people filed the lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court, demanding that Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara pay a total of 10.5 million yen ($94,600) compensation for insulting the French language in remarks last October, national broadcaster NHK said.
In their suit, the plaintiffs accused Ishihara of saying: "French is a failed international language because it cannot be used to count numbers."
"It's natural for different languages to have different names for numbers and different ways of counting them, so it's unacceptable for him to insult French in this way," Malik Berkane, who heads a French-language school in Tokyo, told reporters at a news conference.
The Tokyo metropolitan government refused to comment, saying it hadn't received word of the lawsuit.
French is the official language in about three dozen countries and territories worldwide and is one of the official working languages for international organizations such as the United Nations. In French, some numbers can be unwieldy to say, such as 90, which translates as "four-twenty-ten."
Japan's counting system can also be tricky. Adopted from Chinese, the Japanese numeric system ignores the western system of classifying large numbers every three digits. Though one thousand is the same, 30,000 would translate as "three-10,000," 4 million would be "400-10,000" and 4 billion would be "40-100 million."
Counting one pencil or one bottle of beer ("ippon") in Japanese differs from counting one sheet of paper ("ichimai") or one book ("issatsu").
Ishihara, one of Japan's most popular politicians, is known for his blunt nationalist talk, criticism of illegal immigrants and unapologetic view of the Japanese wartime military's atrocities in Asia. His remarks often rile Chinese and Korean residents in Japan.
Come sue me ya f**k sticks!
But the French make it sooooo easy for us to insult them, and I'm a Francophile! They're just suing him because they can't sue the US or Europe or Islamic countries.
GG Liddy has gone to saying 1,000 million instead of a billion so people get a better idea of just how big a number it is.
Some Americans even say "11 hundred" instead of 1,100.
It is wrong to be French!
It must be very embarrassing to be French.
She has often commented that if she had to do it over shed study Spanish. French was a complete waste of time.
Whats wrong with saying 11 hundred? Its easier than saying one thousand one hundred.
Say what you will about the French, their language is hardly a failed one; for centuries it was the only language of international diplomacy. A quirky way manner of numeric expression has nothing to do with that.
This guy's as wrong as wrong can be.
To be fair, the Belgians solved this problem.
Nothing's wrong. Just using it to say that the Japanese examples aren't so odd.
Ishihara-san is correct.
That is long ago in the past. French has become so unneeded and english so dominant that France has passed laws limiting the legal use of english. Especially when it comes to the internet and computers. They fear the death of their language. And in Quebec, I believe it is illegal to do business in english in any way, shape, or form.
There are no regular verbs in French. Not one. Any verb in common usage breaks at least one rule.
I believe the Japanese examples are how the numbers must be said as it is the only way the language allows it. Unlike English, which has multiple options available.
|Les Français sont des singes de capitulation qui mangent du fromage.|
LOL, and this on the eve of Bastille Day, sacre bleu! LOL! (But I agree!)
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