Japan Simplified

The world deserves to know

Why do Japanese find learning English so difficult?

English is so widely spoken/read/written all over the world, but in countries like Japan, China, and South Korea, very few natives actually are fluent in it.  Even the Japanese who come to study in US, Australia, Canada, or UK often do not learn the language as well and after returning to Japan, forget it because they rarely use it.

In Japan, right now, there is almost a panic that for the Olympics in particular, but in general for the country’s future, they need more Japanese who are fluent in English, but don’t know how.

So what are my thoughts on why Japanese people find it hard to learn English?

  1. They need to be told by everyone that English is not difficult to learn.  If others can master, why not the Japanese?  After all, they have excellent work ethics and know how to work hard.
  2. Make English speakers appear as cool, rather than discriminate against them.  I clearly recall that many of my Japanese friends who studied in English (either overseas or at International University of Japan, where I studied) rarely emphasized their bilingual skills and it was not considered to be an asset.
  3. Incorporate English into everyday Japanese life.  As people see more English in their lives, they are more likely to become familiar with it and learn during everyday use.  I have learned quite a bit of French simply because I love French films.

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Why do the Japanese kill dolphins and whales?

A lot of my readers, who love so many things about Japan, cannot believe that their favorite country of otherwise wonderful people, actually slaughters whales and dolphins (which are almost sacred to us these days).

The answer for this question is as complicated as trying to explain to the Japanese (and to pretty much the rest of the civilized world) why we have so many guns in America? Or why do we still have the death penalty?  Or why is healthcare not free for every single American?  The list of questions goes on.

Each country has its complexities and one has to see the world from their perspective to appreciate why something makes sense to them.  We know how passionate Americans are about guns even if tens of thousands of Americans, including kids, are killed each year by guns.  People are willing to go hungry or give up everything else they got for the privilege of owning their guns.  Most gun-owners put guns ahead of everything else in their lives.

Think along these lines to appreciate why Japanese can kill whales and dolphins without emotion.  The way Indians can never understand why we slaughter thousands of cows daily that they consider holy, we will have to make a genuine effort to appreciate the Japanese tradition.

(Source: mynippon.net)

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