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ukguyjpOct. 15, 2014 - 06:29AM JST
In his classic book on communication skills, "How to Win Friends and Influence People," Dale Carnegie urged readers to "Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. "
Posted in: Mothers react to being called by their first names after years of just being 'Mama'
ukguyjpOct. 08, 2014 - 07:20AM JST
Again, I'm surprised by the comments by (well-meaning but misguided) English teachers here who are talking about pronunciation, translation, immersion and so forth. Yes, all these things can make language learning easier, but they aren't the reason why Japan is lagging behind in English language acquisition.
Yakimo has a point when s/he talks about the deep enculturation of Japanese people which prevents them - generally speaking, there are exceptions - from meaningfully interacting with the world. In Japan cultural identity is imposed as ideology and one acquiring English is largely seen as losing 'Japaneseness'.
If Japan really wanted to be bilingual it could do so in one or two generations, much as other Asian nations like Taiwan, Philippines and Malaysia have done.
For instance, Japan could have two official languages (Singapore has five) - Japanese and English. 50% of kids' TV shows should be in English with English subtitles.
In short, the reason English language acquisition is failing in Japan is becasue the culture doesn't want it.
Posted in: What’s wrong with English education in Japan? Pull up a chair
ukguyjpOct. 07, 2014 - 11:27AM JST
Tests, textbooks, translation...these elements may be symptoms but they aren't the disease. The problem isn't, at its root, anything to do with language. It's a deep-seated cultural problem. And that's why it will never be fixed.
ukguyjpAug. 29, 2014 - 05:28AM JST
Ridiculous waste of time and public funds.
ukguyjpJul. 29, 2014 - 08:13AM JST
I am a university teacher in Japan. On one occasion I was pressurized by university authorities to give a passing grade to a student who had attended hardly any classes and turned in no work in my course.
I vehemently protested, refused and resisted. I pointed out that this was unfair to students who had worked hard and passed the course fairly. It also undermined the academic credibility of the university, which claimed and still claims to have high academic standards.
I asked, "Why do I come to work? Why do I work hard to prepare courses if students can not show up and still pass? Can you not see how this drastically undermines teacher motivation?"
In the end I was compelled by the university to prepare a special test which the student in question could easily pass. Thus the university were able to offer up the pretense that the student had satisfied the course requirements and they were given a passing grade.
Posted in: The number of academic degree holders produced by universities is seen as a measure of the schools’ value. Therefore, universities may grant degrees to students even if they don’t deserve them.
ukguyjpJul. 07, 2014 - 06:10AM JST
LFR Again: "English as a threat to Japanese language and cultural identity"
Yes this is exactly right, isn't it...the old Japanese 'culture as ideology' meme.... and this is where Japan compares badly with other asian nations. The Japanese establishment fears that, by acquiring English skills, Japanese will lose part of their essential Japaneseness. A ridiculous concept which illustrates how Japan cannot modernize meaningfully or take on board the notion that national identity is something which can develop and evolve.
Posted in: Entrance exams for English must be changed for Japanese people to keep up with global society. There is too much emphasis on reading and writing. Listening and speaking should be equally tested.
ukguyjpJul. 07, 2014 - 12:06AM JST
Here we go again.
ukguyjpJun. 22, 2014 - 01:01PM JST
In the 1930s the nationalists who led Japan into a calamitous war banned western music, including jazz, as being "un-Japanese." What we have been suffering through this ridiculous ban is the latest manifestation of an ideological imposition of 'traditional' cultural values by Japan's old farts.
This law has been incredibly embarrassing for Japan, showing how out of step it is with other modern nations, and very harmful for its image around the world. It's just another example of how youth culture is marginalized, emasculated and homogenized by the ossified Japanese system.
Ken Ishii is right, dancing is not a crime, but the authorities want to ban it because it's a symbol of freedom and personal expression.
The sooner this nonsense is overturned, the better.
Posted in: Japan's nightclubs weather dancing ban
ukguyjpApr. 26, 2014 - 08:55AM JST
The medical care I've received in Japan has mostly been very good.
However I do agree with two points raised in the article and the first comment:
I also had a herniated disc and was not given adequate pain killers, even as I was screaming for them!
My nearest hospital's emergency room is closed on weekends! It's right next to Kyoto station.
Posted in: Hospitals: UK vs Japan - Length of stay, language, birth, kids and pain relief
ukguyjpApr. 23, 2014 - 07:40AM JST
Everyone knows Japan is a self-policing society - your neighbours will always turn you in if they think you are doing something wrong - but this is crazy and demonstrates the depth of mind control in the society.
Posted in: Driver turns herself in to police for failing to stop at yellow traffic light
ukguyjpApr. 01, 2014 - 10:02AM JST
WHAT the hell is going on!? Seems very suspicious. There should be an official inquiry.
Posted in: Two detainees die at immigration center
ukguyjpMar. 09, 2014 - 07:19AM JST
This week I had to report a stolen ATM card to UFJ bank. Since my Japanese is basic, I asked for help in English. The customer assistant said, " Oh, we aren't allowed to speak English,"...in perfect English,
Posted in: Are Japan’s efforts at internationalization succeeding or not?
ukguyjpMar. 06, 2014 - 02:54AM JST
FFS!! Hasn't this crap been dead and buried already!???
Posted in: Japan’s curious obsession with blood type and personality
ukguyjpAug. 20, 2013 - 10:49AM JST
SMAP advertising a product? Who'd - a thought it!?
Posted in: SMAP impressed by 'Alien Jones'
ukguyjpAug. 18, 2013 - 01:06PM JST
The article is right about one thing: Japan as a 'self-policing' society. If I were doing anything even the least bit illegal, I'd never confide in a Japanese person. With their healthy, indoctrinated respect for authority, they'll turn you in for sure.
Posted in: Why do Japanese people obey traffic laws? Chinese students give their opinion
ukguyjpJun. 15, 2013 - 04:53AM JST
Kyoto City has a "three free hours of wi fi" program in place for tourists. But you can only get the free service by first registering for it on the internet! So first, as a tourist, you have to find a place which has internet service so that you can apply for this free access. There is easily accessible free internet all over Asia, Thailand,Cambodia, you name it......this is just embarrassing for Japan!
Posted in: Free Wi-Fi for tourists to become available at 11 JR West stations
ukguyjpMay. 10, 2013 - 07:38AM JST
Good and getting better, though I would say generally French is better than Itailan here.
Posted in: What do you think of the quality of French and Italian restaurants in Japan?
ukguyjpMay. 10, 2013 - 07:34AM JST
Who needs a police force when you have civic minded members of the public who are willing to turn you in?!
Posted in: Teacher suspended for taking part-time job as call girl
ukguyjpMar. 27, 2013 - 04:10AM JST
Of course. If you are straight, and opposed to gay marriage, you are denying gay people a right which you yourself enjoy.
Posted in: Do you support same-sex marriages?
ukguyjpMar. 21, 2013 - 02:58AM JST
Depressing. Maybe Oprah has encouraged reading among her fan base, but she has caused untold harm thru her uncritical promotion of all kinds of claptrap: the paranormal, psychics, new age spiritualism, conspiracy theories, quack celebrity diets, past life regression, angels, ghosts, alternative therapies like acupuncture and homeopathy, anti-vaccination, detoxification, vitamin megadosing, you name it.
Posted in: Oprah named most influential celebrity for 2nd year
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:04AM JST
That reminds me of Freshness Burger's "Mango Burger" sold a couple years ago. It was actually…
Posted in: Burger King Japan’s new Premium Berry burger may sound awful, but it tastes fantastic
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:02AM JST
Love that comment Cleo! :D
This is one possibility for farming these fish, but why has…
Posted in: Surrogate sushi: Japan uses biotech for bluefin tuna
Just make it easier for skilled workers.
Posted in: Do you think Japan should allow immigration by unskilled workers?
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:01AM JST
Solution's simple Defaulting the interest payment on the bond is the simplest solution. Of course,…
Posted in: As debt piles up, Japan tries to lock in low borrowing costs
Nov. 24, 2014 - 10:00AM JST
It would be much more interesting to compare the way the news is reported in Japan…
Posted in: What do you think are some of the main differences in the way Japanese and U.S. media report the news?