Japan: English Second Language?

Started by nes_pwnerer, November 20, 2006, 08:16:00 pm

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I've been wondering about this ever since I've seen any sort of Japanese merchandice: Why do they use English so much on their packaging?  Is it like a second language over there or what?


My guess would be that it is almost a second language, only because the US took over shortly after Dec. 7, 1941. But most of the world is moving that way. Also, Japan is a big exporter of technological goods, so, in order to appeal to consumerist gluttons, they most likely have to include English.


I guess technically it could be called there second language, however, the percentage of people who can really speak English is really low.  English is seen more as a cool thing so many times they'll take English phrases and Japanize them with Japanese pronunciation.  I think it may be cooler to speak Japanized English than the real thing with kids today.  Many magazines have English titles and they'll throw English around here and there on advertisements and whatnot.  For technology things they may be trying to attract to the rest of the world as well but its hardly ever enough for someone to really use the item, like a fully translated manual or something.
So basically it comes down to being cool, kinda like throwing Chinese characters on things in US or getting tatoos of them. 


Man, coming from a North American point of view, that seems really odd...

As soon as tattoos came up, an image came to mind of a Japanese person with "TV GAME" tattooed on their arm :D Though that probably wouldn't happen, it's just the first Japanized-English phrase that came to mind.


Haha, yeah no one's getting TV Game tattoos.  It's just an example of taking something different and using it to create an image.  I guess English gives the image of something global for technology and cool for fashion.