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The Popularity Of The Japanese Language

933 words - 4 pages

The Popularity of the Japanese Language

Nowadays, it is not surprising to hear people from other countries say Japanese words such as Konnichiwa, Sushi, and Samurai. According to the New York based Institute of International Education, the number of people who study Japanese outside Japan is said to be 3 million, increased by 3 times compared to 1990 (Newcomb 4). Although Japan is an island country which had not had much connection with the world till a few hundred years ago and the number of people who actually speak the language is not so big, if compared with English and Chinese, more and more people are now trying to acquire Japanese as their second or third language. It can be ...view middle of the document...

Consumers in the U.S. are no longer satisfied only with their culture, which had been traditionally popular for a long time (Palmeri and Byrnes 3). It is natural for people to wish to learn at least a bit of language of the country they are interested in. Increased number of Japanese tourists to other countries also encourages local people, especially those who are concerned with tourism, to learn how to speak Japanese.
Additionally, the distinct characteristics of Japanese are one reason that people are attracted to the language. Japanese is written with a mixture of Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. The fact that each Kanji itself symbolizes a meaning seems to be especially fascinating for those who only use alphabetical letters and so are not familiar with this concept. Additionally, famous Japanese movies which people in other countries have access to often show either traditional Japanese people such as geisha and ninja, or typical hard-working Japanese people. It usually happens that Japanese letters pop up in these scenes. Because of the recent increased popularity towards Japan, many people outside Japan think Japanese writing is “cool”. It is easy to see that this is true because outside Japan, there are many people wearing T-shirts with Japanese letters on them on the streets, and some people even have tattoos in Japanese. In this case, it can be said that some people like Japanese language for an artistic aspect rather than a practical one.
Thirdly, the fact that anime and manga have attracted a lot of people’s attention has stimulated people to study the Japanese language. Undoubtedly, there are now more people inspired by anime than ever before. According to Douglas McGray, “Japanese anime-style cartoons currently fill the majority of the time slots in the after-school and Saturday morning schedules on U.S....

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