Yet They Always Pronounce “Nicaragua” Flawlessly…
Tomorrow I’ll post an in-depth piece on the Flyjin Phenomenon. But this (below) won’t wait.
Jim Zarroli is a “business reporter” for National Public Radio (NPR). He’s in Tokyo now. He’s also, I’m afraid to say, a tool. I’m still wincing, cringing and gagging at a Jim Zarroli report from Tokyo which wound-up about a half-hour ago. In that piece I and millions like me had to endure listening to him murder Japanese, the language that is. He couldn’t even say the 3-syllable “Shibuya” correctly. Shibuya is a central Tokyo ward. Anyway, Zarroli wasn’t even in the ballpark. So here’s this reporter in the middle of a city of 13 million and he can’t or won’t bother to find one person to double-check his pronunciation of a 3-syllable word before broadcasting to the world. Lord love a duck.
And what’s even worse: Zarroli was doing this vapid, puff piece on the electricity cutbacks in Tokyo . . . while a humanitarian crisis continues on the Northeast Japan coast. One of the people he interviewed even said as much, said that some electricity inconveniences were the least they could bear in Tokyo when so many people up north are suffering.
NPR: shockingly mixed-up priorities coated with the added insult of bunging-up simple words.
So, I’ve been going back and forth via email with an NPR Regional Bureau Chief all day long. If I may summarize his many, many, many paragraphs:
“We’re NPR. We know more than everybody. I know nothing of Japan, and don’t speak any Japanese but I’ll correct yours . We’ve dumped lots of reporters on the scene in Japan. Shut up about about quality, look at our quantity! By the way, did I mention we know more than everybody? I speak Spanish and French.”
I’m sure I’ve left out some things, but that’s it in a nutshell.
Silver lining: I’ve found out that one of the local program directors is a pretty cool guy and we both share a lot of the same musical tastes. So it hasn’t been an entirely wasted effort.