TOKYO

US President Donald Trump's use of the word "shithole" to describe some countries has sparked fury in some quarters and left many media scratching their heads on whether to repeat the slur.

But spare a thought for the non-English language media outlets that had to translate the president's colourful epithet into local languages.

Here are a few of their efforts:

  • Japan: 'Like toilets'

The famously polite Japanese media tied themselves in knots trying not to offend their readers, with national broadcaster NHK sticking to "filthy countries".

The BBC's Japanese-language service translated the term into Japanese with a phrase for a tank to hold excrement, which is often used as manure.

Newswire Jiji Press translated it as "countries like toilets", using a colloquial but not necessarily vulgar term.

Meanwhile, the Sankei Shimbun added nuance by translating it as "countries as dirty as outdoor toilets".

  • South Korea: 'Beggar's Den'

South Korean media largely took their cue from the country's biggest news agency Yonhap, which rendered the term as "beggar's den".

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