It turns out the Prime Minister may secretly be a junior high student?!

A while back, we reported on the buzz surrounding newly inaugurated Japanese Prime Minster Yoshihide Suga’s show of sympathy for Donald Trump, who had recently tested positive for COVID-19.

While most English speakers may have glossed over the slightly awkward wording, the tweet was slammed by Japanese Twitter. Many users complained that their Prime Minister’s level of English was too low, and certainly not of a level appropriate for a world leader to be using.

Roger Pulvers, a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and an author of over 45 books published both in English and Japanese, commented on the Prime Minister’s English ability.

“Right from the start, it reads like a Japanese junior high school student wrote it,” Pulvers commented, pointing out awkward literal translations of phrases like “early recovery” in place of the more natural “speedy recovery”, and “Madam First Lady” where “Mrs. Trump” would have sufficed.

▼ Was PM Suga secretly a junior high school student learning textbook English?

While we’ve seem some crazy reveals in 2020, it’s safe to say that PM Suga is probably not a junior high school student.

Instead, the Prime Minister’s English tweet was not his words to begin with. It was recently brought to light that the tweet was written by a secretary who had been working with PM Suga for many years.

▼ At least he wasn’t using Google Translate!

According to reports from a political reporter from a national newspaper, the Prime Minister’s social media posts are usually checked by a minister from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But this time it appears that the post wasn’t checked at all, and just written by the secretary who is probably feeling a bit sheepish at all the attention a well-meaning tweet seems to have gathered.

Where the initial response to Suga’s tweet was full of outrage, it seems that people have become more sympathetic since then.

“So what if he’s not good at English? In fact, I’d be genuinely surprised if he was good at English.”
“It doesn’t matter if a Japanese Prime Minister can speak English or not.”
“Rather than posting English by himself, it’s more important to have his thoughts properly conveyed through an actual interpreter.”

For us here at SoraNews24, the Suga tweet isn’t really that bad at all. As many language learners are sure to agree with, what’s important isn’t the accuracy but the sentiment behind the words.

Because really, it isn’t even close to the worst attempts at translating that we’ve seen before.

Source: Livedoor News
Featured image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)
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