traitor/betrayer of a country

EdisonBhola

Senior Member
Korean
Hi all,

If someone passes on some secret information about their own country to other countries for gains, can they be called a traitor/betrayed of their country? And is my choice of preposition "of" correct?

e.g. This Japanese man passed on secret information about Japan to other neighbouring countries, and he is a traitor/betrayer of Japan.

Many thanks. :)
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    What's wrong with "a traitor of Japan"?
    It’s not idiomatic. Neither is your sentence as a whole. I can’t think of any circumstance in which it might be said – at least, not by a native English-speaker.


    He betrayed his country by giving away state secrets to an enemy and was branded a traitor.
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Do you mean he passed on Japanese secrets? The way it is written passing secret information about Japan doesn't mean he betrayed Japan or that the secret information was from Japan.. It just means he passed on secrets someone else has about Japan.
    Yes, I mean he passed on Japanese secrets and betrayed Japan.
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean

    It’s not idiomatic. Neither is your sentence as a whole. I can’t think of any circumstance in which it might be said – at least, not by a native English-speaker.


    He betrayed his country by giving away state secrets to an enemy and was branded a traitor.
    Thanks. Can I say "he was branded a betrayer"?
     

    jaker93139

    New Member
    American English
    Yeah, you usually wouldn't use betrayer as a noun / call some a betrayer. The person in reference betrayed Japan or you could say they committed the ultimate betrayal. You could say, if you wanted to identify the country that "This man betrayed his country by passing Japanese secrets to neighboring countries, making him a traitor." Although the last part would be redundant. But the only time I have heard betrayer used as a noun and especially using the format "betrayer of country, friendships, marriage" is in a commical accusation / given as a title in a commical way.
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    Standard General American English USA
    What's wrong with "a traitor of Japan"?

    The preposition "of" tells us that something belongs to something else.

    So saying "traitor of Japan" makes it sound like he's "Japan's traitor".

    He may be from Japan, but that does not mean that, if he betrays Japan, he is now "Japan's traitor". As a traitor "he does not belong to Japan". Or he does not represent Japan as a traitor.

    For comparison, let's take a look at another way to classify someone.

    "He is one of the great sushi chefs of Japan."

    Now, using the preposition "of" works because he represents Japan as a sushi chef. In a certain manner of speaking, we could say that he belongs to Japan, and Japan is proud of him. The same idea does not occur with traitor, however. We would usually just say, "He's a traitor".

    _____________

    On a related note: If the idea or concept of "traitor" interests you, you might like to look up the name "Benedict Arnold".

    Here's an excerpt from an article to which I have provided a link.

    Following his death, Arnold’s memory lived on in the land of his birth, where his name became synonymous with the word “traitor.”

    Benedict Arnold
     
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