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English in Japan

Mycernius

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I was wondering what type of English is taught in Japan, British English or American English? I know that the US has an influence over Japan is some respects, but does this include the English taught in Japanese schools? Does it depend on the teacher or is there a set standard? Also, if I was to teach English in Japan, would my English (British) be different to what is taught by an American, Canadian or Australian. It is the spelling that most interests me about it, as American and British English differ on spelling grounds, whereas Canadian and Australian seem to be a mixture of the two, especially Canadian.
 

Ewok85

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From all the text books I've seen its American. Annoyed me a bit cause when I got back from Japan I was speaking american english not aussie/british english :(
(small things like elevator not lift, cellphone not mobile phone, lobby not ground floor etc)
 

Nebiki

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I imagine you would be able to pick up the American "dialect", if you can call it that,in little time at all.
I can see why youmight find it a pain though.
 

Kara_Nari

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Yeah, New Zealand and Australia follow British english.
Actually I have met a lot of people here who prefer British English over American English.
However I had a friend who taught English in Japan, and was forced for one job to speak with an American accent. Luckily she is quite good at changing her accent.
The other day I met a New Zealander who thought that I was British... until I told him where im from. But then I never really have sounded like a nasal Kiwi....
 
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Nova pretty much encourages teachers to teach American English regardless of where you're from.

But I didn't follow that rule at all.
 

Jack

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american english is bull, those form england speak the truth
 

Ewok85

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I dunno, i prefer using 's' to 'z' for works like organise, its doughnut NOT donut, etc :D
 

lexico

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The more I think about it; I think I misread PopCulturePooka. I had learned a lesson earlier not to judge by first impression. Therefore I must state that it was an extreme case of irony; sarcasm; a self-inflicting humour which is also typcially British in origin. For how could an "Aussie" betray the crown ? That would be out of character judging from the PopCulturePooka that I have known on the forum. Apologies for questioning your integrity. :sorry:
 

Silverpoint

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lexico said:
For how could an "Aussie" betray the crown ?
Without a second thought Lex. We're not living in the 19th century any more. Australia has no serious need for the British monarchy these days and just haven't actually managed to organise a decent referendum to form a republic. They tried one a few years ago but it was hijacked by politicians who wanted to push an alternative agenda, so it got voted down. It'll happen sooner or later though. Anyway, I don't think it counts as "betrayal" - just a dumb comment with no real evidence offered to backup the observation.
 

lexico

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Ah, you got me there, dear Silverpoint, right on ! 😊 It would be anachronistic of me to think so. Do forgive my ignorant remark. At the same time, I am wonderfully better informed by your correction; the joys of learning ! 🙂
 

misa.j

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I believe they use American English spelling in their textbooks.

To tell you the truth Mycernius, they had a poor curriculum for English class when I was in school; I had an Australian teacher who taught once a month in high school for one year, but most of it was taught by my Japanese teachers.
 
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lexico said:
The more I think about it; I think I misread PopCulturePooka. I had learned a lesson earlier not to judge by first impression. Therefore I must state that it was an extreme case of irony; sarcasm; a self-inflicting humour which is also typcially British in origin. For how could an "Aussie" betray the crown ? That would be out of character judging from the PopCulturePooka that I have known on the forum. Apologies for questioning your integrity. :sorry:
Lol dude... I'd gladly see the british royal family 6 feet under. I'd pat the dirt on the graves down myself.
Useless anachronsims that Aussies have no need for whatsoever.

By saying British Written English is silly, I mean things like the use of 'u' in words such as colour, odour etc. And other spelling forms. American Written English makes a lot more sense as words are written phoenetically, while British Written English has an over-abundance of silent or redundent letters.

Spoken though, its british all the way.
 

Drkns

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PopCulturePooka said:
By saying British Written English is silly, I mean things like the use of 'u' in words such as colour, odour etc. And other spelling forms. American Written English makes a lot more sense as words are written phoenetically, while British Written English has an over-abundance of silent or redundent letters.

Strangely enough, I find the American spellings to be rather stupid. Especially the repeated use of the letter 'z' in place of 's'. And I'm no expert, but I swear that neither 'color' nor 'colour' are phonetically accurate. The word is certainly not pronounced col-OR, but more along the lines of cull-er. Therefore, would not "culler" or "cullor" be the phonetic spelling?

Furthermore, I regret to inform you that the American spellings, while they may well remove what you describe as "an over-abundance of silent or redundant letters," tend to appear to have been written by an illiterate British individual, rather than an 'educated' American. Criticise our spelling if you wish, but remember that British English is the ONLY true form of English. :p :)

Of course, we all have a right to our own opinions. Oh and I definitely agree about spoken English - British all the way!


On a side note:
PopCulturePooka said:
I'd gladly see the British royal family 6 feet under. I'd pat the dirt on the graves down myself." That's a little harsh isn't it? Perhaps you'd like to see the anachronsims and the institution of the royal family '6 feet under' but I can't imagine you have any reason to wish death upon the individuals who are, incidentally, BORN into the family - they don't have any real choice in that matter. That is, excluding those who marry into the family.

Also, just in case you haven't heard, while they may consume some tax-payers' money, the royal family contribute a great deal of time and money towards charity work. If it hasn't helped you, are you sure a friend or family member hasn't been admitted to a ROYAL hospital? Or helped with a ROYAL scholarship or ROYAL funding? Hell, we have no idea what influences the British royalty maintain to this day and I think it is both foolish and disrespectful to nonchalantly wish the death of or even the removal of a title from people or an institution without knowing the first thing about them or the extent of their deeds.

"Our failures are known. Our successes are not."​

*deep breath* *deep breath* *deep breath* 🙂


In response to the original question of this thread: I would imagine that, primarily, American English is taught in Japan, as the American occupation following WWII would undoubtedly have influenced the education system as well as the government.
 
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Silverpoint

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Personally I sit somewhere between the two of you. I think essentially the Royal Family is fairly handy for the representing Britain abroad, bringing in the tourists etc... However, I find the idea that in the 21st century, someone is automatically my superior simply because a fluke of nature caused them to be born into a certain family, is somewhat bizarre.
 

Mycernius

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American spelling became the way it is mainly due to a man called Noah Webster. A rather stuffy man who took it upon himself to re-spell words. Some of them stuck and others didn't.
 

Silverpoint

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Interestingly, according to a book I read recently, American English is at times more traditional that British English. Words like "gotten" for example were previously in use in the UK but gradually fell out of popularity whereas they've been preserved in the States until the present day. We Brits often accuse Americans of taking the language and messing it up, but in fact this isn't always true. Sometimes we changed and our transatlantic cousins kept to the old ways.
 

Mycernius

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@ Silverpoint Bill Bryson mentions that in one of his books. They say the Maine accent is very close to the way English was spoken.
 

Drkns

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Silverpoint said:
We Brits often accuse Americans of taking the language and messing it up, but in fact this isn't always true. Sometimes we changed and our transatlantic cousins kept to the old ways.

While I consider that quite an interesting discovery, could one not argue that however English is spoken in England at that moment in time is the ONLY genuine form of the language? The different forms may well have maintained certain words which fell out of popularity in England, but, at the same time, language is ever-evolving and I believe that at the end of the day, the British English in use at the time will forever be the 'true' form of the language. That said, there is no doubt that the variety of cultural influences affecting most, if not all, languages around the world will cause them all to become hybrids - each and every one losing a number of ties with its 'traditional' form.

As long as words such as 'bling' *shudder* and the like don't become everyday terms in both the written and spoken forms of language, I think I'll survive. :)
 

Nebiki

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/RANT
I find it incredibly frustrating when people speak of the "British monarchy". There is no such thing. To be historically accurate the only really monarchy that resides in Britain today is the English monarchy.
I find it particularly frustrating as I am Scottish, and the Scottish monarchy died out quite some time ago.
Therefore I have no love of the monarchy and can't understand why they have such relavence to the English.
/END OF RANT
Ha, ha nationalism all the way, eh? 😌
 

Jack

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there is always a relation to things that happen in england is something of britain, but in all fairness, Englands history is Englands history,

hmmm,.....think about it!!
 

Silverpoint

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Drkns said:
I believe that at the end of the day, the British English in use at the time will forever be the 'true' form of the language.

Obviously it depends on whether you consider the country and the language to be to be intrinsically linked. If that's the case then surely only 'English English' can be the true form as opposed to 'British English' (since Wales has its own official language, and parts of Scotland at one time had a gaelic, which has all but disappeared these days).

Personally I don't subscribe to this view. English is now a global language which is 'true' in all its forms and regional variations. Saying our own tongue is the only true form is like saying rounders is the real sport and baseball is not. (For our non-British readers, "rounders" is an old bat and ball game which involves running round 4 bases, still sometimes played in Britain from which baseball is said to have derived).
 
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