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Ethnic Slur ... \"jpn\" is better than \"jap\" as an abbreviation
Thread poster: ejprotran

ejprotran
Local time: 14:51
English to Japanese
Jul 23, 2002

I have recently noticed some people ignorantly using a word \"JAP\" when he/she specifies the language groups to post a job. Although I understand that it is mainly used as a clipped form for Japanese, it should be put like \"JPN\" instead. The word \"JAP\" is definitely an ethnic slur/taboo even if they don\'t intend to get the Japanese upset.



Sincerely,

Satoshi



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Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:51
Spanish to English
Let's not go overboard... Jul 23, 2002

I have seen actual Japanese sites use the abbreviation \"JAP\", so I think this may be a personal issue rather than a social one.



Example:



Dept. of Jap. Studies. CUHK

Menu. Have a look over our NEW HOMEPAGE. (Updated 17 May 2002). Invitation to

take the course \"Japanese Popular Culture\" and \"Japan and Hong Kong ...

www.cuhk.edu.hk/jas/home.htm


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Dr. Fred Thomson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:51
German to English
Where is my acronym glossary? Jul 23, 2002

While I want to be sensitive to your feelings I cannot fully support your complaint. If I saw JPN somewhere I would be racking my brain for a meaning.

Only if the context demands it should we assume an ethnic slur. Most of the time (as you indicated yourself) no slur is intended, so why look for trouble.

Let us all condemn those who show themselves to be be bigots and slobs, but let\'s be positive and optimistic and first assume the best.

We\'ve come a long, long way and i love it.


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TA CHUN CHEN
English to Chinese
I found... Jul 23, 2002

According to many dictionary websites, this term is an offensive slang. Please see below:



http://www.bartleby.com/61/64/J0016400.html



http://www.wordsmyth.net/cgi-bin/simplesearch.cgi?matchent=Jap&matchtype=exact&matchid=-1&retall=1



http://dictionary.msn.com/find/entry.asp?search=jap



as for this website,



Dept. of Jap. Studies. CUHK

Menu. Have a look over our NEW HOMEPAGE. (Updated 17 May 2002). Invitation to

take the course \"Japanese Popular Culture\" and \"Japan and Hong Kong ...

www.cuhk.edu.hk/jas/home.htm



this is a Hong Kong based university, their new homepage



http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/jas/english/menu_eng.html



uses Japanese.



Using JPN instead is not that hard.


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Teresa DelGiudice  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:51
French to English
+ ...
I agree Jul 23, 2002

I agree with this complaint. We are not talking about personal feelings and pride; we are talking about cultural ignorance.

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Russell Gillis  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:51
Spanish to English
I am fully aware of "Jap" being an insult... Jul 23, 2002

Your issue was with people using \"JAP.\" as an acronym or abbreviation for the Japanese language.



As my colleague has said above, context is what determines its use, and people are smart enough to know the difference.



Of course, JPN is the correct abbreviation, but people will continue to use JAP whether we like it or not. It is more intuitive, since it is first syllable of the word. My advice - get over it and move on.



Some more examples (many from JAPAN):



\"Enquiries and comments should be made to http://www.animeokashi.com/html/listing_jap101.shtml (note here that all language references use \"jap.\")



http://www.lingolex.com/jap



JAP@TIPS

JAP @ TIPS Japanese Tradition



Eng-Jap Ocean Dictionary

www.sainet.or.jp/~k-naka/ej.html



POKEMON JAP. Let\'s read Monster names in Japanese! - ... Let\'s read Monster names on your Japanese Pokemon Cards!

www.wakaba.net/japanese.htm


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:51
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
jp on the Internet Jul 23, 2002

These things move fast. Just as the phone company taught us (in the EU, anyway) how to identify countries by their prefixes (ergo, how to configure a keyboard), I think we\'ll learn to use jp, hk, nl, uk, ph, pk, sg, es, fr, etc. in no time flat, even though very few of these are pronounceable.

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Libin PhD  Identity Verified
Chinese to English
+ ...
List of Windows XP's Three Letter Acronyms for Languages Jul 24, 2002

In Microwfot Windows, all languages have a three letter abbreviation.



Japanese = JPN

English (United States) = ENU

Chinese (PRC) = CHS

Chinese (Taiwan) = CHT



English - Australia ENA

English - Belize ENL

English - Canada ENC

English - Caribbean ENB

English - Ireland ENI

English - Jamaica ENJ

English - New Zealand ENZ

English - Philippines ENP

English - South Africa ENS

English - Trinidad ENT

English - United Kingdom ENG

English - United States ENU

English - Zimbabwe ENW



and many others.



The URL for this info is:



http://www.microsoft.com/globaldev/winxp/langtla.asp



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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 00:51
SITE FOUNDER
There is an ISO standard for this Jul 24, 2002

The ISO specified two and three-letter codes for abbreviating language names:

http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/IG/ert/iso639.htm



It is somewhat common to use a combination of the two or three letter codes with the two-letter code for a country to specify a dialect. Example: en_us is English as spoken in the US. (This approach has limitations, as their are dialects within countries.)


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ejprotran
Local time: 14:51
English to Japanese
TOPIC STARTER
Well... Jul 24, 2002

You all think I am being too sensitive? It may sound like a little thing to non-Japanese, or maybe some Japanese who don\'t realize the seriousness of this issue. Every time I see the abbreviation, honestly, I feel quite uncomfortable about it. I know I\'m not the only one that feels this way.



Some people take this issue seriously while others don\'t. For those who belong to the latter, I suppose you don\'t really think about it until it\'s focused at your group.



It\'s too obvious that the context is the most important factor when you need to figure it\'s intended as an ethnic slur. I don\'t have any intentions to accuse those who innocently used \"JAP\" as an abbreviation of a racist. The fact of the matter is that \"racism is always there, not too deep below the surface of even the most civil of veneers\" as a Japanese American writer says. \"JAP\" is definitely a controversial word as the original meaning suggests.



If using the word is a potential cause of troubles, why not just stop using the word? Are we too lazy to break our habits that could hurt someone\'s feelings? As some people in this forum suggested, we have alternative words such as JPN and JP that are gradually being recognized and actually used by the public.



I know I can\'t change everyone, but I hope I can help educate the people I can reach...



Sincerely,

Satoshi


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ejprotran
Local time: 14:51
English to Japanese
TOPIC STARTER
I'm beginning to see subtle but positive changes... Jul 26, 2002

Since I posted this topic the other day, some agencies have already made corrections on how they initially put the word on the job posting board without knowing the fact that it could be very offensive. It has been changed to \"Japanese\" which is even more acceptable than other forms.



Thank you for your understanding, and quick response.



Sincerely,

Satoshi


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xxxXX789  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:51
English to Dutch
+ ...
Errr... hehe Jul 28, 2002

Our agency has been using the abbreviation JAP for years and will continue to do so. While I am furiously against any form of racism, I\'m not intending to change abbreviations like these because some people are too sensitive.



I\'m Dutch. There are these words in English: Dutch wife, Dutch uncle, Dutch treat, and so on and so on, all introduced during the War between the Dutch and the British ages ago and I don\'t take offense by that either. I actually laugh about them. It all depends on the context. Actually the word Dutch wife is used in Japanese too.



I can\'t see what\'s wrong with a project number containing the word JAP. We use the first three letters of the English name of a language in project numbers: that means ENG for English, DUT for Dutch and JAP for Japanese. I don\'t know, next time when my Finnish translator sees the abbreviation DUT, he/she might claim that DUT is an abusive word in Finnish for I don\'t know what, and then we\'d need to change that too.



My Japanese wife and partner has no problems with this. Actually none of our Japanese translators have problems with it. During all those years 8 years I\'ve been running this agency, I only got two remarks about JAP. This is the second one.



I don\'t see why we should change our entire project number system because of 2 complaints during 8 years (none of them being from our clients or translators).



I understand your feelings, but I hope you can understand where I\'m coming from too.



Then again, it\'s just a name on your passport that doesn\'t mean anything. We\'re cosmopolitans. It\'s a pity so few people realize that. I didn\'t choose my nationality or the country where I was born. Even if somebody would actually use racist language against me, I couldn\'t care less. I wouldn\'t take it personally. I don\'t feel Dutch after all. It just happens to be the language I speak and the country where I was born. I\'m not a fan of my country, or any country in particular. It\'s all the same.



I\'m 28 years old, have travelled at least that many countries, and have found heaven nowhere. There is no perfect country. I won\'t take pride of my nationality, neither will I feel offended if somebody refers to it.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-07-28 04:11 ]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 00:51
SITE FOUNDER
jp and jpn are the ISO standards Jul 28, 2002

Loek,



I see your point. And I agree with the sentiment, \"I\'m not a fan of my country, or any country in particular. It\'s all the same.\"



Still, I have seen other people complain about the abbreviation \"jap\". This is the third time I have seen the point raised. A few people are offended, and a larger number just assume that those using the abbreviation are culturally ignorant. Which for you is obviously not the case.



Anyway, there is another, perhaps better, reason to change. \'jp\' and \'jpn\' are the standards, as set by the ISO, so if your agency wants to offer web services, or to be interconnected in deep ways in the future, you will either have to make the change or make a language code converter. (The other issue with your internal coding is that it won\'t handle Slovak/Slovenian, etc.)



By the way, speaking of making fun of the Dutch, the latest Austin Powers release is a case in point (\"Goldmember\" is Dutch). The movie also shows Japanese in a negative light. Apart from that, and unlike the revious two releases, this one is not that funny. Give it a miss.


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ejprotran
Local time: 14:51
English to Japanese
TOPIC STARTER
Henry... Jul 29, 2002

I just wanted to say that you got that right. I think that you see things in perspective.



Satoshi.



Quote:


Anyway, there is another, perhaps better, reason to change. \'jp\' and \'jpn\' are the standards, as set by the ISO, so if your agency wants to offer web services, or to be interconnected in deep ways in the future, you will either have to make the change or make a language code converter.



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ejprotran
Local time: 14:51
English to Japanese
TOPIC STARTER
How about the United Nations? Jul 30, 2002

The United Nations don\'t use JAP as an abbreviation for Japanese. Some know the reason why, while others still don\'t...



http://www.un.org/Depts/unsd/methods/m49alpha.htm



Satoshi


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