When reports emerged of Trump’s justification for firing FBI director James Comey, interpreters in Japan were confronted with a tricky question: how to translate “nut job” in a way that would be suitable for broadcast.
They settled on henjin – a word more commonly used to describe an oddball or eccentric – having decided that the alternative, atama ga warui (stupid) was inappropriate for someone of Comey’s stature.
The outburst was the latest in a long line of comments, tweets and deviations from scripted speeches that interpreters in Tokyo concede have left them dumbfounded and struggling to retain their professional composure.
“It isn’t just his colloquialisms, but the demeaning way in which he talked about women, especially during the campaign, said Chikako Tsuruta, who regularly interprets broadcasts by US networks such as CNN, ABC and CBS.
The Japanese are exquisitely polite people except on their wilder teevee shows. I’m not surprised translating Jerkish poses problems for them.
The post title is, unlike the president*, no accident. It’s borrowed from the classic Sofia Coppola/Bill Murray film, which mostly takes place in a Tokyo hotel; not a Trump branded one, for that we can be thankful. The movie was released in 2003, so there’s no lonesome white man tweeting; for that we can be thankful.
Speaking of hotels, here’s an image that was projected on Trump’s DC joint last month:
I somehow missed that story but so much shit has hit the fan lately that I can’t always keep up. Better late than never.
Welcome back to the New Gilded Age where Jerkish is spoken. Leave your bribes at the front desk when you check in.
I’ll give 10cc the last word with a song as rudely politically incorrect as the Insult Comedian himself.