Monday, October 27, 2003

The future of Japanese language

Woow~! I'm glad to get a lot of feedback from the people having the same question in mind~. Thanks to all who let me know about some good sites and informations!

I understand that foreign languages are somewhat modified to be easy to accept when they are adopted in Japanese, but seems like the problem is there is no specific rule of modification.

Now let me show you a good example I got by email:

For example, McDonald's can be "MakudonaruZU(z)" or "MukudonaruZU(z)" but actually it's called "Makudonarudo" without the possessive "s," while Mister Donut is not "Misutaadoonatto" but "-doonattsu(s)" with the "s" added.

Though I haven't thought about this "'SU' or 'ZU' of borrowed words" thing actually being discussed, there are the people who have been considering this as a big issue! I found a story about how hard it was to remember the team names on the site made by a Japanese announcer, and it was very interesting to read. It says, whether the word ends in "-SU" or "-ZU" is likely to be vaguely defined in Japanese regardless of its English pronunciation, and he/she really needs to be careful not to make a mistake on the air.

And here is another information! It's like, Mr. Haruki Murakami has been suggesting we pronounce it correctly as "Yankeezu" as something is wrong with "Yankeesu," for a long time! This surprised me a bit. So everyone is concerned about it too!

It's interesting we notice various things if we pay attention to all the information flowing in our brains, not only in class but in life. You guys who are studying English in junior or senior high! Why don't you throw this question to the English teacher of your school, and discuss what the increasing borrowed words should be and the future of Japanese language?

The proper nouns have to be as they are, but I wonder if it's OK that needless borrowed words increase too much in number. Every language has been developed, affected each other by borrowing a lot of words from other country's languages, so they are always changing. See the Japanese classics, it's almost Greek to us.

This might be old-fashioned of me, but when I think of the current Japan I can't take it as a good stream to replace Japanese words with borrowed words one after another, though it doesn't actually need to do so . . . . That makes us think the original Japanese is unnatural, doesn't it? Once you start to care about it, you'll be surprised to find katakanas on TV, in the street, in magazines, everywhere.

(NOTE by Nuuk)
"Mr. Haruki Murakami" ... a Japanese novelist.