Rob Beschizza at 10:00 am Mon, Jul 30, 2012
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Je les tous Defonce Coréens, allez vous tous Bruler, bande de trisos
"I'll smash the Koreans, you'll burn, you band of mongoloids." — Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella, on Twitter, earlier today.
Morgenella is on his way home.
Swiss Olympic Team Expels Player for Racist Tweet [AP]
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wow, his French is TERRIBLE. Even for a Swiss.
well considering the facts that probably half the swiss soccer players are emigrants and that switzerland has 4 official languages, that’s not so suprising.
I’ve only been to Switzerland once, in passing, and I found it a very odd place in terms of language/currency etc (if I remember correctly they’re dual currency – but I might be making that up I was making it up).
Belgium was pretty weird too. People would try to speak to me first in French, and then in German; and were quite disappointed when they discovered I only spoke English.
You’d think ordering a bag of fries would be easy irrelevant of language barriers.
The oddest thing was seeing billboards and advertising in either French or German. As in one or the other, but evenly distributed around the place.
The nerve of these natives, offering the two languages spoken by some 160 million people living around them.
I wasn’t trying to imply there was anything wrong with them not speaking English :) Just that the experience was unusual.
I’m not one of those people.
Switzerland is not dual currency.
Looks like I just made that one up then.
Unless you were in a fairly small area of Southeastern Belgium, it was likely Dutch, not German, that you saw and heard.
You may be right, although I can tell the difference between the two. Maybe I was just thrown by the whole experience; I had been on a coach for a good 10 hours prior to it.
Would it sound very different to a Dutchman speaking Dutch? I find it’s quite a specific accent but not sure if it would carry across the border.
On second thought maybe this all happened on the way back from the Netherlands, which would explain why my memory of it is a little… confused.
I suspect it was Dutch you were hearing and seeing, not German.
Ah, I see this has already been covered AND that you were fresh from the Nederlands – all is forgiven ; )
In Geneva, the people on the street – the ones doing actual visible work – appeared to speak mostly Italian. But that was last century.
Why do you think bilingual/multilingual countries are weird? I think monolingual countries are strange.
Weird is the wrong word, ‘unfamiliar’ would have probably been a better choice.
He writes in Verlan: “Verlan is an argot in the French language, featuring inversion of syllables in a word, and is common in slang and youth language.”
Wow, so it’s like fishizle my nizzle, but looks all cultural
Sounds more like pig latin to me.
That’s not verlan. His syntax is completely off (” Je les tous Defonce” should be “je les défonce tous”), but the only slang word in the article is “triso”, a very insulting term for people with Down’s syndrome (kinda like “spaz” in UK english). He just writes French very badly, might be from a Swiss canton where they don’t speak French.
That’s not what he tweeted. The original tweet was: ”Je fonsde out les coreen allez sout vous lebru. Ahahahhahahaah deban zotre”. I don’t know who made this “translation”. AP?
I’m pretty sure that “Je les tous Défonce Coréens” is ungrammatical, even in Verlan. The syntax of Verlan is close to French for the most part; it’s in the lexicon that it gets creative. He probably intended something more like “Je les défonce, tous les Coréens” (or, better, “Je vais les défoncer …”).
He gets more or less back on track with the second part (which I’d render as “Go burn yourselves, all of you”), although his habit of capitalizing verbs is pretty idiosyncratic. My guess is that he was either extremely drunk, or he’s not exactly one of the shining success stories of the Swiss educational system.
Um, no, actually, he doesn’t. Being French and quite familiar with verlan, I can tell you, he doesn’t. His tweet reads like a bad google translation.
That doesn’t look like anything I have come across on French (electronic dance) music videos on youtube, grammatically, lexically or orthographically.
that’s not verlan. in verlan you switch the order of syllables around in words, not so much word order in sentences. I speak fluent verlan.
I don’t think that would qualify as verlan, which would be moving syllables around. An example here, far too widespread in France, would be “Foncedé” for “Défonce”. What we have here is just moving words around and achieving nonsense. No idea about the capital letters on verbs. I thought that only happened on nouns, in German?
Wow. From the title of the post, I thought it was going to be someone who got kicked out for wearing a shirt with the wrong brand, or buying chips without fish.
Woh, it wasn’t quite that serious.
That’s gold for expulsion, then?
Silver, perhaps – Voula Papachristou was first across the finish line. (the non-starter line?)
I dunno. Their tweets should be judged according to a points based system for offensiveness, poor use of language, and so on, I think.
Dear all Olympic athletes,
Please stop doing this. Just play the game to the best of your ability and beat the other guy on the field. No need to make it personal and call people names. Your coach is probably going to make you shake everyone’s hand at the end of the game anyway, so don’t give them reason to squeeze yours extra hard and make it hurt by the time you get to the end of the line.
The Olympic Spirit of Fair Play.
Um… Mongoloid happens to be the correct racial description for Asians…
Sadly, as noted elsewhere, it’s the translator who was correct, but in mistranslation. The player was referring to the developmentally disabled, to the “DEVO” sense of the word, as it were.
I think the translation is a good one. “Mongoloid” used to be used in English to describe people with Down Syndrome. It’s now considered horribly racist and insulting. So using this word in translation expressed well the spirit of Morganella’s use of the word “trisos” (i.e. people with Down Syndrome) to describe the Korean team.
I chose mongoloid because it’s a word that was once scientifically “correct” but which evolved into a slur aimed at people with Downs Syndrome.
So it seems to reflect the French slang “triso” (from trisonomy, a scientific term for Downs’ class of genetic conditions) better than “retard”, as used by others.
In other words, “one chromosome too many.” ;)
The translation has to convey the spirit of the text, so I like what you did.
Just one thing, the genetic condition is “trisomy” (tri=three, soma=body) referring to the extra chromosome 21.
As Ender Wiggin noted (below), context is everything.
Yes, I see that now that it’s been explained a bit more.
Um…if you’re an anthropologist. You think it’d be hunky dory to call a black man a negroid?
if your an anthropologist? sure. so long as your not an anthropologist in a bar being a dick. context is everything.
Some Asians, thankyouverymuch. It’s a large continent, with a lot of different genotypes.
Just like not all Africans are Negroid. Again, large continent + different genotypes.
And you might want to take a look at where the Caucuses are, in relation to Europe.
North of Georgia.
Yeah, sorry guys, I mis-typed!
The definitions still apply. They might not suit your ideas of political correctness, so you can deal with that as you must. I think at the base of your argument you are assuming that a person’s genotype is somehow related absolutely to their geographic location. That is a false assumption. A Mongoloid who was born and raised in North America is still a Mongoloid, just as a Caucasoid born in Pretoria is still a Caucasoid.
All of those definitions were thrown out the window when we discovered the ability to actually look at the genome. When we looked at the genome we discovered that Rainbow trout are actually salmon, and Atlantic Salmon are actually trout. The point is that phenotypes can be deceiving. The only way to reliably trace an organisms ancestry is through the genotype.
The point is that these archaic definitions do NOT still apply.
Do you understand even the first part of what I wrote before, that not all Asians are Mongoloid?
There is no correct racist description. All races are invented.
Do you understand how taxonomy works?
Does anthropology? All of modern taxonomy is based on the organism’s genome. Where is the data to prove that mongoloids are genetically distinct enough from Negroids or Caucasoids to constitute a separate subspecies? Where are they getting this from?
He shouldn’t be sent home, they should make him wear the “naughty maid” Halloween costume and do the laundry for the Korean team. And the Mongolians.
To be fair, “mongoloid” was the translator’s attempt to render a French slang derogatory term for people with Down syndrome (“triso”), but the original doesn’t have the same racist subtext as the English one. In other words, the tweet insults Koreans and people with Down syndrome, but not so much Mongolians.
Given that the term ‘mongoloid’ to describe people with Trisomy 21 is derived from the bizarre notion that they look East Asian, I’m pretty sure than the racist subtext is intrinsic.
And used as general target and punching bag for the entirety of the Paralympics.
Just for the sake of putting it out there, “triso” comes from “trisomique”. Down’s syndrome is called trisomie 21 in French, as the condition is linked to having three #21 chromosomes.
Also trisomy 21 in English.
If it wasn’t for the content, he would probably have been expelled for the grammar.
He should have called them beautiful tulips. Tulip is much better than mongoloid.
I thought Swiss racism was a protected right.
That’s the swiss french for you ;) no manners.
Honestly, I’m not sure that his comment was actually culturally bigoted.
Calling a national team names does not constitute disparaging an entire culture. It’s absolutely inappropriate, and I’m not mourning the fact that he got the censure he did, but I think ‘racism’ and ‘bigotry’ get confused about as often as ‘racism’ and ‘being an utter dipshit toward someone who happens to not be white’.
Using ‘retarded’ or derivations thereof as slurs, otoh, is just right out.
Make him volunteer for the Special Olympics for the next many years, eat a super hot pot of kimchee, and wear a jersey that reads JACKASS where his name should go. Far more satisfying than just telling him to take his ball and go home.
What the hell is wrong with him? Guy lacks a filter.
Just saw his original tweet: “Je fonsde out les coreen allez sout vous lebru. Ahahahhahahaah deban zotre”. No one speaking in Verlan actually speaks like this. It’s basically illegible. What a moron.
A U.S. Senator dropped this on Twitter recently:
Work on farm Fri. Burning piles of brush WindyFire got out of control.
Thank God for good naber He help get undr control PantsBurnLegWound
To get a really good idea of how great a sportsman Morganella is you need to look no further than this… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLIGoL0YdUIIt’s okay, it’s only the Olympics, no-one had any cameras there or anything.
Oh God, that’s disgusting. Childish, even.
It also completely sets the context for the above tweet.
Morganella clearly cheated during the game with Korea. The ref gave the Korean player the yellow card, but the camera shows it was a horrible, blatant dive (“dive” is even too strong a word for the pathetic untouched roll he did). Everybody saw him. Everybody insulted him. And no one gets more upset and defensive than a cheater who has been spotted by everyone. And to top it off they lost. Therefore, Morganella’s burning anger caused the gross tweet above.
(The above is assumption. But I bet it’s not far off.)
That must be the most pathetic flop I’ve ever seen. You’d think that in the Olympics these guys would have at least a little dignity, or failing that, they’d be aware that they’re being watched by a shitton of people.
Mine for most pathetic will always go to Rivaldo:
Talk about no dignity.
Hmm. So the Olympics isn’t entirely devoid of ethics. Cool.
More like they are throwing decent people some meat so they ignore all the other crap
In his defense, he was probably experiencing ‘roid rage at the time.
Creatine, not even once.
DEVO killed that song live… maybe this jerk thought that the Koreans were happier than you and me? No? Ok, send him home.
What is with these athletes and racist tweets? Can’t they keep their mouths shut for a few weeks?
Swiss jock, ok- but I could never imagine a Korean athlete being racist!
Why imagine when there is google!
I’ve heard it said, within the cozy confines of Switzerland itself, that many Swiss women prefer NOT to marry Swiss men. Maybe this type of attitude reflects a little bit what the fräuleins choose not to live with?
Maybe that compulsory all-blond military service creates an unhealthy, Aryan jock mentality?
Regarding your first sentence, I suppose that’s true, just as many French women prefer not to marry French men and Canadian women prefer not to marry Canadian men. Or French men, or Swiss men. Anyway, some Swiss women are lesbian, and it’s typical for couples in Switzerland to live together until they’re ready to have babies, at which time they’ll generally marry.
They rest of your comment is harder to accept, being that whatever point(s) you’re trying to make seem well disguised under a thin veneer of sneering racism. “Aryan”? “all-blond”?? Why don’t you just come out and say “Swiss are Nazis” and be clearer about what you mean?
In 2010 Swiss voted a referendum to deport foreigns.
“Switzerland xenophobic attitude has atavistic origins that come from its guts.”
One has to wonder if Swiss xenophobia was at all shaped by the fact that isolationism looked like a pretty good policy compared to the more-or-less-continuous-for-at-least-a-millennium mess of ugly little meatgrinder wars that defined European international relations until very, very, recently.
Some confusion between caucus/caucuses and Caucasus/Caucasian/Caucasian Mountains I suspect. ‘s not unusual.
Some people still seem to be under the illusion that the Olympics still has any honor left to preserve.
Forget it, it’s a rotten big-money fest, useful chiefly for people to drown their problems in patriotic nonsense. Let it burn.
I’m not really into the massive 4-year sporting event that’s name should not be mentioned without paying licensing fees, but to me- this all just sounds like “trash talk”. It would probably go unnoticed except for hyperactive organizers waiting to kick anyone out for anything that might sully their good “name”. It may or may not be all that offensive depending on his culture, context, and actual translation. Even if it is- let people be pissed-off at him, but let him compete. He’s an athlete- not a politician.
These sort of comments have been happening for the entirety of olympic past…but now there’s twitter.
I’m just guessing here, but somehow I don’t think “bande de trisos” is a term employed by the Francophone anthropological community.
1. Someone already pointed that out.
2. Andrew Pendleton’s post. (He didn’t use that term, the translator did.)
Ah, here we go: [trisos – a pejorative French term for people with Down’s syndrome].”
True, but if he had said “You’ll burn, you band of Negroids!” he probably would have been expelled for that as well.
Please come to my Chicago neighborhood and call some people “Negroids”, I mean, when things inevitably get ugly you can make sure and remind them that it is after all “the correct racial description”…………………
I assume by “correct” you mean “a scientifically discredited and somewhat racist historical relic.”
Consult your local phrenologist.