Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On Asking a Native Speaker

Here is a cropped picture from a Korean Air ad announcing the introduction of direct flights to Nairobi, Kenya.  If you haven't heard about it, the problematic part is about going to Kenya to "enjoy...the indigenous people full of primitive energy".


Aljazeera does a good job, here, of summarizing the debate via twitter about the ad.

I want to say that it was just a simple translation error.  However, my Korean isn't high enough to tackle that issue.  Though, some comments on Aljazeera do point to a translation error.  But even if it is a simple translation error...just ASK a native speaker.

But, speaking of just needing to ask a native speaker.  We have this guy from late last year...

According to reports, the couple had told the angry guy, "니가 여기 앉아".  Basically, you can sit here.  However, the first word, 니가, sounds like "nee-ga".  It just means "you".  However, I have heard that word before and there is not a lot of difference between the sound of "nee-ga" and nigger.  But, even if you actually one hundred percent heard the same pronunciation of a curse word, when the primary language is not the language you know, then stop and...ASK a native speaker.

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