Yet Another English Fail on Japanese TV

Illustration for article titled Yet Another English Fail on Japanese TV
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English is not an easy language for Japanese people. But you’d think that Fuji TV, one of Japan’s biggest television networks, would have a native English speaker check things. You’d think.

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Recently, the network broadcasted its annual telethon 27 Hour TV. This is one of Fuji TV’s most widely promoted specials. This year, it featured celebrities wearing t-shirts that read, “No Fun, No TV, Do Honky.”

Illustration for article titled Yet Another English Fail on Japanese TV
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[Photo: 500yen]

Oh boy.

Illustration for article titled Yet Another English Fail on Japanese TV

[Photo: tubusrerounin]

Yes, that’s Shinya Arino from GameCenter CX.

People on Twitter watching the show, including Heroes actor Masi Oka, were quick to point out what “honky” meant in English and wondered if Fuji TV knew what the word meant.

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Illustration for article titled Yet Another English Fail on Japanese TV

[Photo: Model Press]

So what’s going on here? Why are they wearing shirts that say “honky”? The telethon is actually referring to the Japanese word “honki” (本気), which means “truth,” “earnestness” or “seriousness.” These telethons usually have celebrities participate in athletic events—hence, showing an earnest effort.

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Illustration for article titled Yet Another English Fail on Japanese TV

[Photo: Shigure_scarlet]

The shirt probably should read something like, “No Fun, No TV, Be Serious.”

But as Livedoor News points out, the word is usually written as “honki” in English, so changing the “i” to a “y” and mixing in English words resulted in this unfortunate and embarrassing linguistic fail.

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This certainly isn’t the first in recent memory for Japanese TV.

Top photo: Model Press

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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