Friday, September 29, 2006

The Great Communicator

The PM is in trouble with the language police again...and it is only Day 3 of his term as prime minister.

Abe was mocked for bubbling away in the eager-to-please, peppy language of a schoolboy at his first press conference, including the incredible (almost Bushesque) stuffing of 31 iterations of the phrase "shikkari to " into only 23 minutes.

Now he is getting the verbal switch across his posterior for his incredible katakana eigō explosion today during his first Policy Speech to the Diet.

The Mainichi Shimbun lovingly documents the devastation--and makes the obvious point:

安倍首相:カタカナ言葉は109回 小泉首相の4倍


[interim translation]
Prime Minister Abe Shinzō: 109 uses of loans words--4 times the rate of Prime Minister Koizumi

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō, in his policy speech to the Diet, made conspicuous use of English loan words as regards policy. In specifying "An ōpun economic society" for the "creation of inobēshon" and similar statements, it seemed that his goal in using the loan words was create an appealing sense of novelty rather in order to avoid having to spell out concrete numerical targets. However, when one compares to the contents of Beautiful Country, Japan, with its deeply conservative emphasis on tradition and history, one could not help feeling that the PM was a talking at cross-purposes with himself.
Maybe the prime minister could get a little tutorial in "beautiful Japanese" from his Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

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