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Chinese Media Mistranslates Name of U.S. Pardoned Turkey to Be Japan’s Prime Minister

PicMonkey Collage - Shinzo AbeIt would seem that the media of China had some fun over President Obama‘s turkey pardon two days ago, using it to make jokes about the prime minister of Japan.

As per the presidential tradition before Thanksgiving, Obama busted out his best dad jokes as he offered amnesty from the feast for two turkeys named “Honest” and “Abe,” as a reference to Abraham Lincoln. However, when state media covered the event, a translation error occurred in the Chinese character for single-syllable “Abe,” and they went with the two character pronunciation for “ah-bay” as in the last name of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister.

The Associated Press reported that China Radio International’s mistranslation was picked up by other outlets, and caused online commentators and personalities to use it to mock the prime minister. Many of the Chinese continue to resent Japan for its occupation and war crimes against them during WWII, and Abe is particularly despised for repeatedly appearing at a Tokyo war shrine that China views as a commemoration of imperial nationalism.

“Abe should feel happy, because its American daddy is thinking about it,” an online commentator wrote according to Washington Post. “Abe is just a chicken,” wrote another.

[imave via Twitter / wikimedia commons]

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