How to boost corporate Japan: Stop speaking Japanese.
The article is itself boring but its comment section is interesting. I have no interest in the company but it is nice to see how things will work out.
In the comment:
What is the difference between the two? — I forgot going to the post office. I forgot to go to the post office.
I think this is a stupid example. How should non-native should know the difference without more context? It seems the first means that “I intentionally did not go to the post office.” Like “Do you have to study, now. Just forget it.” The second one means the obvious.
三木谷浩史 H. Mikitani (CEO of Rakuten)
He claims that his English is like a native speaker’s. That is too much; he must have been thinking about high school kids when he was discussing his English skill. His innovation skill might overwhelm his poor English grammar but he should get some one to correct his English errors, in at least written format like twitter, which is blatantly public. Any case, he does not use incomprehensible English. His mistakes are typical ones made by many Japanese including myself. Basically he cannot use articles properly.
We (Rakuten Eagles) signed contract with new head coach, Senichi Hoshino today! 2011 season should become very exciting one!
=>We (Rakuten Eagles) signed a contract with the new head coach, Senichi Hoshino today!
Discuss “discuss about”
>Let’s stop discussing about our policy to convert our main language to Eng. We are going to do this to become strong global company.
> I agree…my GE colleagues including Jeff Immelt are using discussing “about” when want to specify the subject.
>Well I think many native people use “discuss about”. At least my friends at Harvard did. How good is your English??RT
=> This was a reply to the complain about the misuse of “discuss about”: discuss is a transitive verb which takes a direct object without a preposition. I think this is a minor mistake but the use of “discuss about” by natives does not change the grammar rule. Especially he tried to justify this by citing “Harvard friends”. He must have forgotten GW Bush also graduated from Harvard MBA. A Harvard MBA does not prove his grammar is acceptable if anything at all. It is better not to use “discuss about” in a formal document. But in a speech, it may depend how people say it. eg. “About” can be a good spacer: like “discuss, … (thinking this and that)… about our best strategy.” (About becomes “bout” in speech and can be very weak, especially in UK.) Well this might sound stupid to natives but …
>We are going to do this to become strong global company.
=> We are going to do this to become “a” strong global company.
>now most of my meetings are in English. I think we are making a good progress!!
=> making good progress!! (progress: uncountable)
>We are about to start have the first monthly board meeting in English.
=> We are about to start the first monthly ~
(This type of error means nothing in practice but a jerk like me can dig this out.)
>Today all company meeting is in 100% English. Going well!
–>The meaning is slightly ambiguous. He might have wanted to say:
=>Today all company meetings are in 100% English.
=>Today the company meeting is in 100% English.
>We added MacOS 10.5 to our required OS for Rakuten Toolbar. The required browsers for MacOS are Firefox 3.0, 3.5, and 3.6.
=> I guess he meant: required ->supported
>Today we are going to have semi off site meeting w board members at Rakuten New Tower!
=> a semi off site meeting
>Good morning! It’s beautiful day here in Tokyo! Many many thanks for great messages for my birthday from my followers yesterday!
=> It’s a beautiful day ~
>Good morning, we are in the first ”English” executive meeting. Big step for truely internationalize the company for Rakuten.
=> A big step for truly globalizing the company for Rakuten.
=> A big step toward truly globalizing the company for Rakuten.
>Bangkok we have Rakuten Travel Branch! Yoroshiku!RT @ibekai: @hmikitani Really! we are very very hottest about 35 temperature in Bangkok!
=> It’s very hot: the max temp is 35 (Celsius). => People would know it was very hot.
>Make sence!RT @NYasunaga : Nation is the notion made by people. So the breakers can be the people. It’s all up to us .
(These are not his comments.)
=>A nation is the notion defined by a people. So the breakers can be the people themselves. It’s all up to us. (This is very tricky and it depends on the meaning.)
> I read a book called “the world is flat” it is very interesting and the book talk about the
=> the book talks about
He may be mumbling correct words in his head but typing wrong words in his busy schedule. There is no doubt he can communicate in English effectively but I do not see such many errors by natives in very short sentences, though his twittering is much better than others.
Writing is a good way to uncover errors since you can write and come back some time later when you can look at the own sentences with fresh eyes.