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    DPRK tests short-range missile

    This Nikkei headline about the DPRK’s missile test yesterday gives some indication of why English translations of Japanese always seem to double the length of the passage in question:

    北朝鮮ミサイル実験、日中韓ロと警告へ・米首席補佐官

    That 日中韓ロ part in the middle stands for “Japan, China, the ROK, and Russia.” The whole thing literally reads, “US Chief of Staff with Japan, PRC, ROK, Russia toward warning on DPRK missile test.” Naturalized, it might go, “US to join Japan, PRC, ROK, and Russia in warning DPRK about missile tests, says Chief of Staff.”

    Anyway, I think yesterday’s missile test has been pretty well publicized, and only some fish suffered for it directly. Atsushi thinks the motivation was transferred pain over soccer. He’s only half joking.

    4 Responses to “DPRK tests short-range missile”

    1. Portia says:

      Er… Soccer has started wars before. I’m with Atsushi. (Okay, strictly speaking, you’re with Atsushi. I just agree with him.)

      P.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      You’re right, and sports-related honor becomes even more important when people feel that their country is being looked down on in the military or economic spheres.

    3. Amritas says:

      日中韓ロ? Whatever happened to 露?

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      It’s weird. The Nikkei, I’ve noticed, uses 日露; it also uses 英、仏、独、西 for England, France, Germany, and Spain, probably because those usually aren’t considered single-kana abbreviations. (I think I’ve seen just ス for Spain, though.) Oh, and of course, 米 for the US and 豪 for Australia. But when Russia is referred to in any combination besides Russo-Japanese, you’re likely to see ロ rather than 露. Maybe that’s true of other papers, too; I just notice it with the Nikkei because I subscribe. I mean, the dead-tree version, on which the problem of dense characters shouldn’t really arise when deciding on a 60-point headline.

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