Here comes an anti-English book, guess what, written by a French lover.
Interestingly the author turned out to be a climate change denier, but I thought these people only exist in some part of the USA. Where is this guy getting his idea? — American media, for sure, since there are not so many climate deniers in France. So learning French as well as reading bad science can make people dumb… To be fair to France, he is just a Japanese idiot who can write well to fool others without content: he is an excellent example of idiots who can learn other languages but cannot understand science. Depressing. French people would be disgusted to know he can speak French…
In general, idiocy comes before learning English not other way around. The author of 英語を学べばバカになる グローバル思考という妄想 (光文社新書) did not even finish his PhD, and he is now a professor of a university: that sadly manifests the level of the university. Too many useless books are around.
“英語を学べばバカになる — グローバル思考という妄想”: I would agree if he wants to say that English becomes “an indulgence” (贖宥状) for losers in Japan: a tool for cherry-picking facts that fit their opinions around the world. People must weigh multiple opinions on given issues to extract most optimal solutions. Equally idiotic is that Japanese who does not understand the world claim that Japan is a heaven since other countries have so many problems.
This is really an important piece of information no media or people talk about. Media often blast that basically Japanese youths do not have global ambitions. But the decline in Japanese students in American universities stems from more complicated reasons. Many people involved this issue should be aware of these statistical frauds, otherwise they are as incompetent as the very youths they are targeting.
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.
Perfecting English skills is waste of time for the beginners. Once people clear the initial difficulty, however, they need to know details: especially, they need to know phrases they are using are commonly used or not. And commonly used English phrases by Japanese are often wrong partly because they are constructing English sentences in Japanese mind sets.
This does not mean they should brain wash themselves with Anglophone culture and custom. It just means people need to know commonly used phrases, and inventing phrases without knowing English in some details would cause confusion. Literal direct translation often makes wired English expression.
This problem is not specific to Japanese but to all the other non-native people. Or even Anglophone people often encounter difficulties as well if regional custom is different from their own. Obviously people cannot what I am writing here do not need to worry about this type of mistakes but people who are teaching English in any way should know this.
So what kind of errors do Japanese make? These days Japanese are writing English in blogs and twitters, we can see errors people often make.
attend to Osaka university to study=>attend Osaka university to study
my nickname was determinated.=>my nickname was determined.
Kids go university. Parents will go to the university to see their kids.
I’m a starman. ?? Are you alien? I do not get it.
to achieve deeper communication with people all over the world.= to communicate with people around the word. A complicated sentence does not make a better expression. Simple is best if you are not sure. Fewer words will make fewer possible errors.
I believe reading is important for enriching life.=>I believe reading can enrich our life.
「発音は完璧だけれど、語彙が少ない人や 語るべき内容がない人」はまったく尊敬されません –> No one respects fluent English speakers with little vocabulary and intellectual depth.
I do not like watching or listening to a discussion through a translator. In the beginning Biz Stone looks slightly puzzled, as if he really does not understand the question or at least the question is not clear. Conversation looked dead, so unfortunately I did not finish watching the video.
Why cannot they interview in English about their own specialized field? Any case, I suppose they can live without English and that is good for them.
It is not difficult to communicate about their job related issues in English since they had a plenty of time to prepare. Asking question is relatively easy. Continue Reading
Freshly overtaken by China, Japan now seems to stand at the vanguard of a new downsizing movement, leading the way for countries bound sooner or later to follow in its wake. In a world whose limits are increasingly apparent, Japan and its youths, old beyond their years, may well reveal what it is like to outgrow growth.
A decent comment, though people might be disagree. Japan should become a country to which people like to come to live and visit and which establishes its own universal value. Unique cultural value does not have to be xenophobic nor self-denying. That is, xenophobic is another form of self-denial.
The author has commented my entries. He has extensive first hand experience in EFL in Japan. Any one interested in this topic will find it insightful. He pointed out 10 reasons why English learning in Japan fail. I mostly copied his short version of them. You can just go straight to his web page.
TEN REASONS WHY ENGLISH LEARNING IN JAPAN FAILS
Charles Jannuzi, University of Fukui, Japan
1. Japan is linguistically and culturally self: self-sufficient language
2. Japanese is not closely related to English: linguistic-separation
3. Japanese is not written with an alphabet– alphabetical-difference
4. Learning Japanese requires too much effort — no energy left for another language5. Lack of effective national policy on foreign language education
6. The situation at universities–negative washback from entrance exams and the preparation for them at the senior highs.
7. The situation at universities regarding teacher-student relations, backgrounds, goals: incompatible expectations at universities
8. A lack of EFL programs, specialties, majors, minors, concentrations. There is plenty of ‘General English’. Indeed, that is one of the bitter irony of teaching EFL in Japan. Many of us have jobs because English is required, but we end up wasting far too much time and effort trying to teach students who are in class only because they have to be or have a vague idea that they want to study English with a foreigner.
9. The foreign language teaching and learning ‘culture’. That is, the overall approach to teaching and learning EFL (and these are collaborative activities) that is specific to Japan. Japanese EFL teachers tend towards ‘yaku-doku’, which could be called a version of ‘grammar-translation’. Meanwhile, foreign teachers are drawn to mostly production activities–conversational pair practice–for which there is little or no accountability in terms of evaluation.
10. The language teaching ‘profession’ in Japan. There is a lack of serious and useful teacher training and professional development. In higher education, those who are most often designated to teach EFL courses have backgrounds in literature, linguistics, and teacher training, not actual EFL teaching. If asked, many will even say that they are not EFL teachers and are not interested in teaching EFL.
These points can hinder English learning of Japanese. Any one however can overcome these obstacles if they have strong will or they face with urgent necessity. A nation, Schools nor teachers are not the ones that determine the fate of individuals. It is Individuals who ultimately defines their own fate. (But this cannot be the national policy since a nation has to elevate its people in principle.)