Exactly a year after Nomura made its successful lunge for Lehman Brothers, the official line in Tokyo is that the merger is running like clockwork.
One or two oddments, though, are still getting lost in translation, despite the availability of native English speakers ready to take a glance over any important company circulars. A recent e-mail politely reminded staff in Nomura’s Tokyo headquarters that “gay colour nail polish and manicure” fell outside the company’s dress code.
The trading floor was also left baffled by guidelines on the correct type of trousers: “Wear the one gives to the ankle to the height of pants.”
Internally, everyone is convinced that the word “gay” was intended in its purely original sense of cheerful and bright. The problem is that many of the electronic Japanese-to-English dictionaries on sale in Japan are occasionally woefully behind the times on the more common usage of some English words. The Japanese compiler of the memo appears to have innocently typed the Japanese word hadena (gaudy) into one such machine and received the translation “gay”.