Racial Slur on Sofa Set Stuns Family

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M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Nobody's posts on babble are "necessary."

But to say my post was "over-the-top" is merely to repeat the over-reaction for which you purport to be apologizing.

Makwa Makwa's picture


Originally posted by M. Spector:
[b]But to say my post was "over-the-top" is merely to repeat the over-reaction for which you purport to be apologizing.[/b]

You do realize that the forum in question is about 'anti racism' and not about you, right? Why not take an honest apology with some grace, okay? Chalk this up to the 'how not to help' section, and let it go, shall we?

Ed to add: In retrospect, I add my voice to relly relly hating that initial post of yours - it pissed me off to no end - I get soo damn tired of the privileged intellectual adding so-called non concerned didactic voices to already emotionally charged issues, pretending that their emotionless non-involved voices are somehow superior. Dammit, I a quite familier with the racist voices of the past, and to have any source pointed to me as somehow distant from this culture, especially when it is set up as if to educate me makes me - aarg -- quite peeved, in fact.

So. I would request that you please disengage from such emotionally charged, albeit 'educating' (as if POC and FN people need further education about racism THYVM)* bits of historical information at least in FN and anti-racism sections. I need some breathing space.

ahem. rant over. for now. peace.


[ 18 April 2007: Message edited by: Makwa ]


There's no reasoning with Spector.

Makwa Makwa's picture


Originally posted by Le Tйlйspectateur:
[b]North Americans are pretty content to continue using the most racist images of Indigenous people to advertise their ice cream bars and sports teams and to use to entertain their children.[/b]

Dam LT. I nearly weep to find somebody who simply 'gets it.' I have spent now 45 years waiting for someone to tell me why all those little printed cartoons that I have seen my entire life have always made me feel sad and why it is simply not fair to minimize, stereotype and ridicule my entire history. Is it really that hard to comprehend? This is what anti-racist thought is about - finding common humanity within the welter of racialized imagry and history and working out some common understanding. If you can't do that, then just be silent and respectful for once, and listen to those who have made the effort to learn. Please. PS: thanks FP.

[ 18 April 2007: Message edited by: Makwa ]


Culprit found:

[url=http://www.thestar.com/News/article/206073]Toronto Star - Software blamed for couch label slur[/url]


Chinese-English translation error came from old dictionary, says Chinese computer company

. . .

"We got the definition from a Chinese-English dictionary. We've been using the dictionary for 10 years. Maybe the dictionary was updated, but we probably didn't follow suit," said Huang Luoyi, a product manager for the Beijing-based Kingsoft Corp., which manufactures the translation software that produced the offensive description.

. . .

Romesh Vanaik, owner of Vanaik Furniture where Moore bought the sofa, said it has been a best-seller. He said he checked his stock but found no other couch with the offensive label.

"It's amazing. I've been here since 1972 and I never knew the meaning of this word," said Vanaik, a native of India.

Huang said Kingsoft has worked to correct the translation error. In the 2007 version, typing dark brown" in Chinese no longer results in a racial slur in English.

Looks like it may have all been an honest mistake - probably not even involving a single native-English speaker who knew what the word meant.

[ 23 April 2007: Message edited by: Free_Radical ]

Polly B Polly B's picture


Moore, 30, is consulting with a lawyer and wants compensation.

Apparently money will make it all better.

Pogo Pogo's picture

Let's assume that they are in business to make a buck. If we are not far off the mark with that assumption then clearly the choice of words are not going to improve sales for either the manufacturer, the distributor, or the retailer. They don't want this label on their product. Not because they give a shit about the racial implications, but because they want to make a buck. This isn't the first time something has come to North America mistranslated.

The elephant in the room is the underlying anti-Chinese sentiments. North American's love to see articles that highlight their errors and misconceptions.

[ 23 April 2007: Message edited by: Pogo ]