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The Everything Japanese Guide


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(A r c h i v e s)


November 30, 2007

Starting to get the Everything Japanese Guide on audio...

I'll be continuing with this, over the coming months, going in no particular order. The first one to go online is Anjin Miura.


On my "to-do" list for the holidays...

A site map: The organic growth of the site has gotten out of hand. There are now more than 500 pages. (And more than 8,000 hyperlinks.) So I will be cleaning things up over the holidays, folks, I promise. In the meantime, follow some of the links to your left....Most of them (especially the EverythingJapaneseGuide) have many levels beneath them.


November 28, 2007

Most Internet terms seem to rely on katakana

That probably doesn’t surprise you. As I have noted before, I believe that excessive katakana terms = bad Japanese. Here are a few I gleaned from a recent article in the Nikkei

ツークリック  click-through

アダルトサイト  adult site

クリックする to click

ツークリック詐欺(さぎ)click-through fraud

インターネット internet


November 25, 2007

The Japanese emphasis on emerging markets ---- and what it means for those with Japanese language skills

According to a recent article in the New York Times, Japanese investment firms and corporations are no longer as America-centric as they once were: 

Takashi Ishida, head of investment at PCA Asset, said the emerging-market funds have proved particularly popular with investors in their 50s and 60s, an age group that remembers Japan’s period of high growth four decades ago. He said these Japanese now believe they recognize the same sort of heady growth in developing Asian countries like China, India and Vietnam. 

“Asian emerging markets appear safe to invest in because they seem familiar to many Japanese,” Mr. Ishida said. 

Many individual investors agree, citing vague impressions of cultural affinity in explaining their optimism in Asian emerging markets. Okiko Ebata, one of a half-dozen individuals gathered on a recent afternoon for an investing seminar in Tokyo, said she had invested in overseas stocks for the first time late last year, choosing a mutual fund that focused on Vietnam. 


This trend has manifested itself in language studies as well. An increasing number of Japanese are studying the languages of neighboring Asian countries.  

Of course English is still the most popular foreign language choice in Japan. But the day may arrive when English is considered to be one of several alternatives.  In the U.S., for example, most students study Spanish; but some study German, French, and other languages. 

This will in turn shift part of the language burden back to English-speakers. If more Japanese are learning Asian languages, then fewer of them (if even an incrementally fewer number) will be taking their English skills to an advanced level. This will make your Japanese language skills all the more relevant.


November 21, 2007

Japanese language major comes to Marshall University 

That’s in West Virginia, for all you folks in California and New York. The new major was started in the fall semester of 2007. Marshall now has 22 declared Japanese language majors.


November 18, 2007

I'm adding more audio to this site...and to EdwardTrimnell.com

I'm going to be downright dangerous now that I have a Podbean membership. I'll be recording some of the old articles on this site, as well as some new ones.

Right now I have some fresh audio content on EdwardTrimnell.com. The latest is one is my take on the recent changes in Japan's foreign policy. If you are interested in listening, click the player below, or see the full written article at EdwardTrimnell.com.



Because you need to be able to discuss environmental issues in Japanese… 

Here is a headline from today’s Yomiuri: 



温室効果ガス (おんしつ こうか ガス) greenhouse effect gases

削減 (さくげん) reduction

政府 (せいふ) government

家庭 (かてい) household

学校 (がっこう) school

省エネコンテスト (しょう エネコンテスト) energy reduction contests 

The complete article is here.



November 17, 2007

They're speaking Japanese in Pakistan

With all the political turmoil in Pakistan recently, it is good to know that people are still finding time to study Japanese. There was recently a Japanese language speech contest held at the country's National University of Modern Languages (NUML)


November 14, 2007

What I'm reading...

Not all of you are interested in Japanese political history. But if you are, then let me recommend Kenneth Pyle's Japan Rising. This book puts into context some of the recent changes in the Japanese political scene, in light of the end of the Cold War, tensions with North Korea, and a new public sentiment in favor of revising the Japanese Constitution.

The book explores past trends in Japanese politics, and how and why the situation is changing again...

This is not exactly light reading; but it is not especially difficult either. It provides an update to many of the Japanese histories that were written primarily in the context of the post-WWII era and the Cold War.


November 12, 2007

Interest in Japanese culture in Mississippi?

Yes, you heard me right. Toyota has announced plans to build a new assembly plant near Tupelo, after all. Here the editor of a local Mississippi paper reflects on the importance of understanding Japanese culture.



November 11, 2007

Japanese language skills in demand in India


Do you speak Japanese in addition to Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati or Punjabi? Well, if so, you will be very much in demand in India.


Manga sales down in Japan 

Manga are one of Japan’s most successful exports. However, sales are down by 4% in Japan. One of the reasons, according to this article, is that more Japanese are spending their leisure time tinkering with the internet and various electronic gadgets.


November 8, 2007

Overseas Japanese language students increase by a factor of 23 since 1979

According to a recent article from the Yomiuri Online, the past quarter century has seen a mind-boggling increase in the number of people learning Japanese (outside Japan): 

the Japan Foundation sent questionnaire sheets to about 27,000 educational institutions worldwide, of which 75 percent responded. It found that there were 2,979,820 students of the Japanese language overseas last year, about 23 times larger than the student number in 1979. 

A huge increase to be sure…But it makes sense in context. Back in 1979, Japanese language studies were mostly dominated by East Asian Studies scholars. Very few people outside academia were learning Japanese.  

Today, of course, business and technical students are flocking to Japanese classes in droves. In fact, East Asian Studies majors are probably the exception among students of Nihongo nowadays.


November 4, 2007

More on the Nova crisis

Another article about out-of-work English teachers who don't speak Japanese. Some of the ex-Nova employees are apparently thinking about going to China.

Don't get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with spending a year or two teaching English in Japan, China, or wherever. But keep in mind, English language schools view you as a commodity---a low-skilled gaijin who is willing to put up with low pay and little job security in exchange for the adventure of a year or two in Japan.

If you seriously want to work with Japan long-term, learn the language and get a Japan-related job that uses other skill sets (accounting, sales, engineering, etc.) And if you want language to be your focus, become a translator.

Whatever you do, don't imagine that you can a have a long-term career in Japan without mastering the language.


November 2, 2007

Japanese language studies in Texas

Toyota and some other corporations are teaming up to promote Japanese language studies in the Lone Star State. Read about it here....