|Saturday, July 13, 2002
03:21 - Stamping Out Engrish
Hey, look-- according to Mainichi Daily News, Japan is taking an active concerned interest in how their grasp of English is being ridiculed abroad and costing them credibility.
Under the title, "English Strategy Initiative," the report recommends that high school graduates be required to "hold daily conversation in English." For university graduates, the recommendation requires that they be able to use the language in their jobs and research.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology became concerned about the nation's English ability apparently because the average scores of Japanese in major English tests for non-native speakers have been poor.
The average score for Japanese examinees in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) stands at 513 out of the total 667 points possible. The score ranks 144th among the 156 nations and regions where the TOEFL is regularly conducted.
Among 23 Asian countries, Japan's score ranks a pitiful 22nd.
Wow. I had no idea that what we'd grown to accept as camp actually had a basis in fact.
But I know I'll miss seeing old ladies walking around with t-shirts that say "RAPE ME" in huge letters, and restaurant ads that say "Domestic careful selection pork with little fat of female liking is used; it has healthy vegetables with salad feeling fully."
On another note, though, I can't help but notice-- the Japanese certainly seem to have more exciting headlines than we do. Just look down the left-hand column at the following "Top News" links:
- S. Korean questioned over fake World Cup tickets
- Judo tournament bans kids with plucked eyebrows
- ANA plane makes emergency landing after woman dies
- Man runs down son while washing car
- Outrage greets origami stork sales
- Man pounds baby girl senseless
- Top university student molests first grader
- Fascist thugs bash breakaway members
- Suspect claims lack of love refutes stalker charges
- Suicide leap thwarted by 35-cm gap on tracks
- Pornographic vending machine sparks bust
- Severed head belongs to slain hostess
I mean, dude, man!