Tag Archives: japanese language

Are the ESL Programs in Japan Doing More Harm than Good?

When you see the same mistakes being made over and over by different people – which you will inevitably see in the English education system in Japan – then the problem is clear. It’s not an individual thing; it’s a systematic issue. Students are all somehow being taught the same mistakes, and/or not enough people are fixing them. There are hundreds if not thousands of small businesses and little organizations (especially in Tokyo) that are trying to beat the bad habits out of students, but you will be surprised at how far these mistakes reach. I didn’t have to look hard to find examples of this in the newspaper.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Media, Translations | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Love Plus Imagination – Part 3: Why Visual Novels (and Manga Comics) are More Popular in Japan

“Only a Japanese person would like that…” An ignorant and perhaps subtly racist statement, sure. However, for a different reason, there’s some truth to it when it comes to manga (Japanese comics) or visual novels (a video game genre that entails slow-paced story-telling, lots of reading, and pop-up options that can completely change the course of the game). To be clear, the statement is not true because Japanese people are inherently more inclined to like visual novels; but rather, they are more likely to give such games a chance and overlook issues that most English-speakers/Westerners would not tolerate as easily, because of their culture. The information below will reveal what the English-speaking world is ignorant of in several specific aspects of Japanese popular culture.

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2011’s Most Popular (and banned) Japanese Baby Names

A ranking of Japanese baby names was recently released, showing which were the most popular this year. Apparently “Hiroto” is the most popular boy’s name and “Yui” is the most popular girl’s name. Name trends are an interesting thing, because they show us just how influenced we are by the popular culture. For example, there is a recent trend among Westerners in taking baby names from the vampire book/movie “Twilight;”and old heroes’ names are making a comeback, like Gatsby and Atticus. So what is the newest name-trend to hit the Island of Japan?

Posted in Culture, Japan, NewsManga, Translations | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Is Japanese the Fastest-Sounding Language?

When you hear a language that you don’t understand, it always sounds like it’s whizzing by you at a million words per minute. People are also generally ignorant of the way they themselves contract colloquialisms and make their natural speech slurred and hurried. This is all natural. But recent research has given some interesting information regarding the speed of several common languages, including which has the most information packed into the fewest amount of syllables, and which language has the most syllables. Where does your language stack up?

Posted in Japan, Psychology | Tagged , , | 3 Comments