Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Chinese Media Lies About U.S. Submarines!

Here's an interesting tidbit from China's Xinhua news agency about the visit of USS Ohio (SSGN 726) to Pusan, South Korea:

SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Ohio arrived in South Korea's southeastern port city of Busan on Wednesday to join the upcoming joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States, the U.S. Force Korea (USFK) said in a news release.
"The USS Ohio, a U.S. guided missile submarine, is in port Busan. The Ohio is taking part in a routine port visit in conjunction with the Key Resolve/Foal Eagle Exercise 2008," said the news release.
It is the first visit of the U.S. nuclear-powered submarine to South Korea since late 2005.
[Emphasis mine] So, that last little piece of information is clearly wrong; why would the official Chinese government press agency put it out? There are a few possible explanations:

1) Instead of "the submarine" they meant "a submarine", and they want to make it look to their readers that the U.S. is escalating the pressure on their North Korean allies, laying the groundwork for when the North Korean media puts out their government's inevitable tirade against American aggression that they promise to defeat by use of the "glorious Army-First Policy".
2) They do their research by typing in phrases into Google like "U.S. submarine visit Korea" and just relying on the first link that comes up.
3) They used this Korea Times article as a source, and misunderstood the part about "(i)t is the first trip to South Korea by the USS Ohio since the former Trident-class vessel underwent a near two-year conversion until late 2005..."

Since I subscribe to the axiom that errors are normally due to incompetence rather than intentional planning, I'm going with option #2 or #3.


Blogger Alicia said...

Maybe just an error in translation?

2/21/2008 4:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally feel that there should be an axiom that states, "if the press can mess it up, they will."


2/22/2008 6:41 AM

Blogger Wordsmith said...

I'd check with a real linguist; I'm not one. One thing I have noticed in my travels is the noun, verb, definite article (sometimes direct object) connection. In some languages it's just not there like it is in English.

Chinese Mandarin and the Malay language have no functional equivalents of the English article system and it has been observed anecdotally that many Chinese and Malay ESL learners have difficulty using English articles accurately, particularly the definite article 'the.'
Chinese language definite article

2/23/2008 9:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got done with a WestPac myself, and the North Koreans said the same stuff about our boat that China said about the Ohio after we had pulled out of South Korea.

2/26/2008 9:01 PM


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