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I think manga is depriving young people of the pleasure of reading real literature. I hope people would return to the written world and the beauty of the past. And get rid of katakana. Katakana should

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Donald Keene, a prominent scholar of Japanese literature. (The Japan News)

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Well said, that man. I for one am sick to death of watching middle aged business men pawing over comic books on trains everyday. For god's sake pick up something without pictures and set a good example to Japan's youth!

2 ( +12 / -10 )

What's this man's beef!? I like real literature as well as manga, but he didn't have to dump on the latter!

Manga is part of Japan's comtemporary literature as well as pop subculture!

And what's wrong with Katakana!? They're mostly used to spell foreign words with!

Get a life, Mr. Keene!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Michael Craig, spot on. Nothing is wrong with manga. It's a beautiful piece of modern "literature". Though , I do agree with the katakana part but manga is not bad. Mr. Keene please do get a life, for reals!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Although you gentlemen have the right to your arguments, telling Donald Keene to get a life is the wrong way to go about it. Maybe you should check his resume first.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

I don't mind katakana if it is used outside the English classroom. As for manga: sometimes only a picture will do and for some manga it truly is artwork. I don't think it detracts from "traditional" literature. People all have their vices and I don't go around knocking the beer and cigarettes out of people's mouths.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Reading materials are a personal choice, and no one should be criticized for reading whatever entertains them. I'm no fan of manga, but if someone would prefer to read manga over literature, then no one else should be criticizing that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan used to create lots of Kanji on its own such as "Minsyusyugi" for English "Democracy" . But nowadays they just use Katakana for English words without translating them or creating new words.

I respect Donald Keene. I want him to live long.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There is some manga out there with real weight and significance, and incredible storytelling told with pictures is also an art. As a scholar I'm sure he knows even renowned artists like Hokusai have a connection to the beginning of manga.

Trash is trash in any publication, whether it be fad diet books, biased newspapers, self-serving history books, or child pornography-like manga. It's not what you read (manga, novel, newspaper) it's what you read (subject matter).

And katakana can be used to not only to express what a character is saying, but also helps describe that character, the character's background or where they're from and their upbringing. Using katakana is a creative choice by the writer/creator, just like slang or poor grammar used by a character in a novel, it helps describe the character.

Also, some manga is just ripping good fun!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Minsyusyugi

Mishushugi. If you write it minsyushygi, it will never be read as 'minshushugi' by people from countries that use the English alphabet.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Reading manga is better than not reading at all.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What does he mean by abolish katakana? It used to be used in print in lieu of hiragana. Perhaps he meant "abolish loan words"? I'd like to know his beef with the katakana script.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

tina, There are some 'home-grown' Japanese kanji, such as 働, which is 人(person) plus 動(move)=work, but the kanji that make up the word minshushugi are 100% Chinese. The combination of them into that particular word may be home-grown, but not the actual kanji.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Whatever. This is just another elite trying to tell the common man how he "should" behave. If people would rather read manga, they're going to read manga. They're not going to read literature because some foreign "Kanji Snob" tells them to.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I think manga is depriving young people of the pleasure of reading real literature.

How? Please elaborate here, in that case same goes with movies, TV, video games, etc... People will eventually get to literature some sooner than other. Actually thanks to manga kids are actually reading.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

the kanji that make up the word minshushugi are 100% Chinese.

cleo, Kanji came to Japan more than 1,000 years ago, It's part of Japanese now. Japanese have made lots of Kanji words made of kanji, whether the componet kanji is Chinese or Japanese original is not my concern. Minshushugi is one of them, Japanese made. My point was Japan should create Kanji or Hiragana words rather than Katakana as D.Keene says.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People used to say the same things about those low-brow, trashy books that got so popular in the 18th century...oh, what were they called?...novels.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Couldn`t agree more about the manga. It is simply not literature. Where would I be now if I had read Archie comics instead of Graham Greene? Sgt. Rock instead of Cormac McCarthy? Spiderman instead of Jean Giono? etc. Nothing wrong with reading comics for entertainment but when that is all you read............................yikes!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Nothing wrong with reading comics for entertainment but when that is all you read............................yikes!

I agree, but that is not the current problem. It is young people not reading anything at all once they graduate from school that is the problem. So, I think reading manga is better than not reading anything at all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When a 92 year old giant like Donald Keenes speaks I think it is not necessary to react, just consider it as advice not an instruction.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

People have the right to read whatever's published. But I do find middle aged men reading comic books quite pathetic, I must admit.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Manga itself is great - it's the middle-aged salarymen on the trains reading teenage-weekly publications that are a worry...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Look at your average commuter train when just the seats are filled so you can easily make a head count.

About 5 people are sleeping. 3-4 are reading a real book (Me), 1-2 are reading the Keiba Shinbun, 2-3 reading a news paper, 2-3 are spacing out (because their cell phone battery is dead), and the rest are on their phones.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess, when you're a posh Japanese literature laureate, you will think manga is for plebeians. Although I agree that Katakana shouldn't be used as a guide to spell foreign words.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Where would I be now if I had read Archie comics instead of Graham Greene? Sgt. Rock instead of Cormac McCarthy? Spiderman instead of Jean Giono?

Not celebrating faux signs of intelligence?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Did he really mean "return to the written world" or did someone misspell "written word"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Katakana should be abolished.

The wisest thing I've seen on these pages for a long time.

Learn a foreign word right, or use a Japanese word. There is no point learning a new word, mangled in such a way that only Japanese people (and those who have lived here) will understand it.

Having learned that katakana is the way "foreign" words are pronounced, it becomes the default setting for anyone who even attempts to speak English in later life, guaranteeing miscommunication. "I shinku..." (stress on "-u") is not going to get your message across.

Speak Japanese, or another language. Don't pretend another language sounds like Japanese.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Don't pretend another language sounds like Japanese.

Nobody's pretending English sounds like Japanese. If we talk different languages, we have different ears. If some Japanese said "I shinku..", that's how s/he hears "I think.." because there is no sound of "th" or "k" in Japanese.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No, Tinawatanabe, that is not how s/he hears "I think". Nobody hears it that way, because it doesn't have a "sh" in it. It's how katakana massacres the word in order to keep up the pretence that all foreign words can be pronounced like Japanese words.

Not having a "th" phoneme, it's how katakana teaches kids to pronounce "I think", instilling them with the false belief that it is impossible to produce the "th" phoneme.

A self-fulfilling prophecy: Japanese people find English difficult because they can't pronounce words correctly because katakana teaches the wrong pronunciation, therefore they find English difficult and retreat behind the security blanket of pretending that it's good enough to use Japanese syllables.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Manga is a ubiquitous part of Japanese culture. I would say that some of it is lewd but people are in fact READing and that is always a good thing.

"Let them eat Katakana", Mr. Keene

This is nonsense. I agree with the other readers here. Get a life!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Katakana should be abolished. The Japanese language is a beautiful language, and is capable of every kind of expression.

To me this is a bit like saying: the numbers above 1 should be abolished. 1 and 0 are beautiful, and are capable of every kind of mathematical expression.

Language isn't designed by committee - it evolves. And clearly there's a preference for katakana over lengthy, obscure kanji compounds in certain cases. Keene might not like it, and it might offend his personal sense of 'beauty' - but communication is king is languages. The beauty of language surely partly lies in it's freedom and flexibility ; I think trying to oppress parts you don't like is a very ugly thing to do.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What this man is forgetting is that Katakana IS Japanese. It's as much a part of the language as Chinese characters are, but even moreso. I'm assuming what he means, though, is getting rid of all the loan words that people squeeze into the Japanese language so that it sounds like gibberish, like with so many silly bands or movie titles. As for Manga, I think there's nothing wrong with it as a form of entertainment, but when I saw it being used in some schools as 'textbooks' almost... yikes!

Zorken: "Keene might not like it, and it might offend his personal sense of 'beauty' - but communication is king is languages."

Agree in part, but keep in mind a whole lot of people use language that is completely lost on the listener because it is pure nonsense composed of a few Japanese words and then loan words. The speed at which people are trying to throw it into regular use is just too much, and not any kind of natural 'evolution'.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Manga is the fast-food, pulp fiction of the art world. It can be artistic and literary. It usually isn't. Read it, if that's your thing, but do it at risk of ending up sounding like a pre-teen for life.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As much as he may not like it, Katakana is still Japanese there are just some words that cannot be translated perfectly and Katakana is the only way that it can be done sometimes, like peoples names for example, theres no Japanese equivalent for a name like Paul, or Harry. If Katakana is abolished theres so many things that would be gone, like bands, movies, and even some books that are translated into Japanese. Donald Keene himself, wouldnt be able to translate his own name into Japanese without the use of Katakana. Manga is not only a literary tool, its an art form, one that is distinctly its own. People like what they want to read, I personally dont like reading some books because they dont interest me. I cant get through some literature because its not something I enjoy, just like I cant get through some Manga because i dont find it interesting. Its not right to say that Manga is taking away from literature, there are just people like me where literature doesnt interest me. Its all your preference, I have nothing against people who love to read amazing works of literature like Tales of the Genji or Shakespeare, people have to find what interests and keeps then entertained. Just because one very respected man doesnt like it and thinks its too plebeian for him doesnt devalue it at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nothing wrong with reading comics for entertainment but when that is all you read............................yikes!

Reading IS entertainment for most people. Some people read to study, but most people who are reading, read fiction, to keep themselves entertained. What is it anyone's business whether the person is entertained by manga, or by some other type of fiction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When a 92 year old giant like Donald Keenes speaks I think it is not necessary to react, just consider it as advice not an instruction.

Oh, but he's just a busybody foreign kanji snob who needs to get a life.....(head-desk)

Good Lord....anyway, katakana is a blight on the language. Why write loan words in kana? Why not pronounce them as they are pronounced in the original language? It's more difficult to say 'makudonarudo' than 'McDonald's' or 'gorufu', for the simple work golf, 'ru-ki' for rookie, sui-tsu for 'sweets' (my two favorite hates) , just about any loan word becomes clunky and harder to pronounce than the original English would be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr. NoidallOCT. 07, 2014 - 08:13AM JST Although you gentlemen have the right to your arguments, telling Donald Keene to get a life is the wrong way to go about it. Maybe you should check his resume first.

That my friend is a figure of speech! Meaning, he should mind his own business instead of mocking manga.

OnniyamaOCT. 07, 2014 - 11:09AM JST Couldn`t agree more about the manga. It is simply not literature. Where would I be now if I had read Archie comics instead of Graham Greene? Sgt. Rock instead of Cormac McCarthy? Spiderman instead of Jean Giono? etc. Nothing wrong with reading comics for entertainment but when that is all you read............................yikes!

Oh please! The ignorance! Manga is NOT american comics! And what is wrong with only reading (probably just otakus) manga? Does that mean people who only read those are dumb? How many doctors, engineers, salary men teachers etc that are reading manga, has lower status in the society?

Manga vs Comics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaWcwfxDQoY

sighclopsOCT. 07, 2014 - 12:42PM JST Manga itself is great - it's the middle-aged salarymen on the trains reading teenage-weekly publications that are a worry...

Is this taboo or a culture shock to you? Welcome to Japan! Sorry, but there is no age limit in reading manga. How old do you think was the father of manga himself, Osamu Tezuka, when he revolutionized manga?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I though Keene was dead but seems I got him confused with Richie.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why not pronounce them as they are pronounced in the original language?

That's what they think they're doing. I hope Himajin is not an English teacher.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Manga IS a form of literature.

As for Katakana, it doesn't work well for many foreign words. There is no difference between "Ram" and "Lamb," for example. This might account for the poor quality of most of the "ramu" sold in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Katakana should be abolished?! Then we wouldn't have マクドナルド!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My God! The world is coming to an end! I actually agree with Bertie regarding literature! :-)

I work in a public school system as a network administrator, so I don't get to call myself a "prominent scholar" of ANY country's literature, but even I know that some stuck-up professor is the LAST person you need to listen to regarding what is and isn't literature. He is going to protect his sphere of knowledge more fervently than a commander surrounded on all sides. Any attempts to include literature he's not familiar or comfortable with - or just plain doesn't like - will be met with condescension and ridicule on his part. If he doesn't like it, then it can't be literature. And yet:

Literature, in its broadest sense, is any written work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literature

Yes, manga has pictures. But it also has text (i.e. "written work") that accompanies the pictures and helps tell the story. These stories can either be fiction or (more rarely) non-fiction, but they are stories nonetheless. So I am going to politely say, "Bunk." to Mr. Keene's opinion (and it IS just an opinion.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Keene has a point.

Reading the back of a cereal box is 'reading.' But it ain't reading "literature." "Literature' is just a fancy, schmancy word for "writings that are worth something." How do we judge what is "worth something"? Aye, that is the rub.

Here's what I think: it adds to our life. What does it add? Well, meaning. Understanding. Appreciation. I suppose simple Entertainment, as far as it goes, adds something to our lives. But not really. At least, not in the same way "literature" does.

In the end, it is the difference between Kate Perry and Mozart..... But, then again, Mozart wrote pop musik ( The Magic Flute, for example). So, yeah, the difference between "art" and "not art" can be quite unclear. And personal.

So, not being particularly well read, as it were, in Manga, I invite you all to share the manga series you've read that you think meet the standard of 'literature' that I offered above. Namely, what manga have you read that has added to the meaning, your understanding, and appreciation of your life on this earth?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Namely, what manga have you read that has added to the meaning, your understanding, and appreciation of your life on this earth?

What does it matter? If someone enjoys reading manga, then they have every right to read manga. There is no obligation nor responsibility to read for the purposes you've listed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

... I invite you all to share the manga series you've read that you think meet the standard of 'literature' that I offered above. Namely, what manga have you read that has added to the meaning, your understanding, and appreciation of your life on this earth?

Love Hina. And Naruto.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stranger

I don't know. The unexamined life is not worth living...?

Look, everyone has the right to read or not read whatever they wish. That is not at issue. The issue is: does "literature" give a person a particular experience that otherwise he or she cannot get? Does reading "literature" add meaning to your life? Even more, does reading 'literature" help make a better city as the ancient Greeks would say.

I think it does. In fact, I think it helps almost everyone.

Turbostat

Thanks for the reply. I suppose, then, the follow up question is "how."

I love Max Max 2. It is the best action film ever. But it really doesn't mean anything to me in the sense of adding meaning to my life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To the contrary, one might thank Manga for keeping today's youth reading at all... I wonder how many go from reading manga to "real literature," being enabled, rather than hindered.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Katakana is mainly used for foreign words and onomatope (imitation of any sound or condensed expression of a certain situation). The latter is specific Japanese expression and widens Japanese expression very much. For ex, there is a scene that there is a sound "Jahn!" at temple in a movie 'Sayuri' and the Japanese notice it is a Chinese cymbal, not a Japanese bell which sounds "Gohn!" On the contrary, if there is "Shihn.", it means no sound. Or if there is written, "Doki-doki (not Oki-doki)", it means heart is pulsing fast by tension. There are some literature which have onomatope as key words and are famous in Japan but not understood outside Japan with it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Triumvere

Manga: the Gateway To Literature....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JTDanMan

Manga: the Gateway To Literature....

Really, when you think about all the other time sinks available to kids these days, It's no wonder: we now have video game consoles which fit in the palm of your hand, and the ubiquitous, endless pit that is the internet. Music and games on your cell phone, instant messaging, etc. etc. Not to mention all the ones we had before, from television own down - there is a lot of competition for the solitary, non-athletic individual's time.

So, not being particularly well read, as it were, in Manga, I invite you all to share the manga series you've read that you think meet the standard of 'literature' that I offered above. Namely, what manga have you read that has added to the meaning, your understanding, and appreciation of your life on this earth?

Not much of a comics/manga person myself (I prefer Anime, actually), but I have picked up a few here and there. I would suggest you get your hands on a copy of "Watchmen," which is a rather celebrated deconstruction of the superhero genre. I think it would be awfully difficult for anyone to sincerely claim that Watchmen has no literary merit, or coherently explain how it would have had more if it were done in a different medium. Again, not a technically "manga" - maybe someone more well versed than I in that particular medium can make you a suggestion - but you'd be well served to take a look.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@JTDanMan

I don't read a lot of manga, but I would say フルーツバスケット (Fruits Basket) has literary merit. The author has a very nuanced emotional intelligence, in my opinion, and the manga deals deftly with important themes such as loss, identity, self-sacrifice, how our connections with others can lead to both healing and self-abnegation...

I also thought Fullmetal Alchemist had interesting things to say about war, imperialism, compassion, etc.

These are both very popular manga (as I said, I don't read a lot of it, so I'm not familiar with the more esoteric stuff); I would imagine that there are more "literary" manga out there that are less mainstream. I don't mean to hold these up as the pinnacle of literary achievement or anything, but they stayed with me, and I found them thought-provoking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JTDanMan: Turbostat - Thanks for the reply. I suppose, then, the follow up question is "how."

Both have got the positive guy that just keeps chugging away in energetic fashion against difficult odds (Love Hina, Naruto).

Energy, and goal, are important.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

tinawatanabe: "If we talk different languages, we have different ears. If some Japanese said "I shinku..", that's how s/he hears "I think.." because there is no sound of "th" or "k" in Japanese."

I disagree. If people heard "I think" as "I shink" there would be no problem with listening comprehension -- they would understand it perfectly but just hear it differently. Now, a person may think the sounds they make when speaking resemble the sounds they hear when they do not, but that's a different thing. And what do you mean there is no "k" sound in Japanese? What do you think "Ka, ki, ku, ke, and ko" start with? If you mean there is no consonant sound at the end of a word without the vowel attached like the aforementioned "k" syllables, then yes, but then you would have to say there are no "b", "t", "d", "g", "j/g", "m", "p", etc. sounds, either. No one has different ears than anyone else unless they've been damaged or were born impaired. We all hear within the same range (save again, damage), and the same sounds. It's how you've been trained to interpret them culturally and accept them that leads to comprehension, and that is part of the problem being discussed. I always push people who are studying another language (not just English) to avoid the curse of using a katakana phonetic syllabary because it will mean any progress in the target language will cease then and there. Use it for loan words in Japanese, fine, but don't think it sounds anything like the native language it comes from and DEFINITELY don't try to use Katakana pronunciation when using another language; particularly those from Manga or pop lyrics.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

And what do you mean there is no "k" sound in Japanese? What do you think "Ka, ki, ku, ke, and ko" start with? If you mean there is no consonant sound at the end of a word without the vowel attached like the aforementioned "k" syllables, then yes, but then you would have to say there are no "b", "t", "d", "g", "j/g", "m", "p", etc. sounds, either.

That's what tinawatanbe is stating. In other words, it's no worse than expats from English speaking nations butchering the pronunciation of Japanese words due to their heavy reliance on their own native alphabet based 'sounds'. (aka 片言)

What I find interesting is that while many posters here have very little tolerance when Japanese doesn't pronunciate the English words to their liking, I see the complete opposite from the Japanese side for they appreciate the 'efforts'.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

nigelboy: "What I find interesting is that while many posters here have very little tolerance when Japanese doesn't pronunciate the English words to their liking, I see the complete opposite from the Japanese side for they appreciate the 'efforts'."

Unlike yourself, then. And besides, really -- how many people do you have 'butchering' Japanese, a language with only five vowel sounds and a few consonant sounds, vs. those who 'butcher' English or other languages? In terms of pronunciation you can't possibly butcher Japanese. Mistake similar sounding words? Absolutely. Fail to extend a vowel sound to two syllables (like saying Yoko instead of Youko)? for sure! Introducing intonation/stress and rhythm to a language that is monotone? sure, that makes things sound pretty awful at times. And needless to say many have a horrible grasp of grammar and couldn't write Kanji to save their lives. But butchering through pronunciation? not possible.

"That's what tinawatanbe is stating."

If 'that's what she is saying', why do you have to follow that with 'in other words'?

"it's no worse than expats from English speaking nations butchering the pronunciation of Japanese words due to their heavy reliance on their own native alphabet based 'sounds'. (aka 片言)"

Ummm... yes, it's much worse. And again, you can't butcher pronunciation of Japanese.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

smithinjapan, "k" and "ku" are different sounds. There are no "b", "t", "d", "g", "j/g", "m", "p", etc. sounds in Japanese, either. Even if your ears are not damaged, you cannot perceive sounds not in your language by your ears. Why do you think people all over the world have such things as "accents" from where they grew up? Culture has nothing to do with Japanese English accent. I can distinguish New Yorkers from people from other places by their accents.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Unlike yourself, then. And besides, really -- how many people do you have 'butchering' Japanese, a language with only five vowel sounds and a few consonant sounds, vs. those who 'butcher' English or other languages? In terms of pronunciation you can't possibly butcher Japanese. Mistake similar sounding words? Absolutely. Fail to extend a vowel sound to two syllables (like saying Yoko instead of Youko)? for sure! Introducing intonation/stress and rhythm to a language that is monotone? sure, that makes things sound pretty awful at times. And needless to say many have a horrible grasp of grammar and couldn't write Kanji to save their lives. But butchering through pronunciation? not possible.

I applaud the confidence but your stance is plain arrogance. Overemphasizing the vowel sounds (寿司 vs suu-shee) and your example of 'extending a vowel sound' which in case of ようこ which often results in the overemphasis of う (u) sound might not seem a 'big deal' to you but for the Japanese counterparts, hearing these with phrases constantly can be annoying.

Perhaps the reason why you believe your Japanese pronunciation is no worse than the Japanese counterparts English is the latter is much more receptive to your efforts as I alluded to earlier.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That's what they think they're doing. I hope Himajin is not an English teacher.

I don't know about that....I've heard plenty of Japanese adjusting katakana to try and speak properly, and saying things like 'Orland' (Orlando) or 'Toront' (Toronto) because the assume the extra 'O' has been added on when the names were rendered in kana.

What does whether I am an English teacher or not have to do with it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What does whether I am an English teacher or not have to do with it?

Because this is what you said.

Why not pronounce them as they are pronounced in the original language?

i can tell you're not an experienced teacher yet. Japanese assume the extra 'O' not because they use kana but there is no consonant only sound like 't' or 'd' in Japanese. It's easier for you to pronounce Japanese 'do' or 'to' because English has those sounds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's fairly insulting, though, tina...

In my opinion, the very fact that they are using katakana is the reason they have such trouble! People can pronounce anything they put their minds to. I taught English to kids in my neighborhood, and did not allow katakana in my front door :-) They pronounced even difficult words perfectly fine. They need a model to mimic, and lots of repetition, but they can do it. 'But these sounds don't exist in their language' is an unnecessary wall you're putting up, an artificial barrier.

If some Japanese said "I shinku..", that's how s/he hears "I think.." because there is no sound of "th" or "k" in Japanese.

It's because that's what they are taught! The textbooks say 'アイシンク’ and that's how their teacher says it, and that's what gets implanted. Show them the mouth/tongue positions as a native speaker says 'I think' and they get it right away. 'r' and 'l' take a bit longer, but with proper instruction (use your tongue for l for not for r) they get it. It's teaching method, and it's using kana as a crutch that warps English pronunciation in classrooms nationwide.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@tina, I want you to know I am not trying to go against you, but your post seem to spark my interest.

smithinjapan, "k" and "ku" are different sounds. There are no "b", "t", "d", "g", "j/g", "m", "p", etc. sounds in Japanese, either. Even if your ears are not damaged, you cannot perceive sounds not in your language by your ears. Why do you think people all over the world have such things as "accents" from where they grew up? Culture has nothing to do with Japanese English accent. I can distinguish New Yorkers from people from other places by their accents.

First, you said that non-natives cannot hear the difference, but YOU can hear the difference in a New York accent? Did you make a typing mistake?

As for 'k' and 'ku' I was actually really taken aback in Japanese class because the 'u' in 'ku' virtually disappears in the middle of some Japanese words.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That's fairly insulting, though, tina...

I think many posters' comments about Japanese inability in English are fairly insulting too and not objective.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukiyo-e

Pictures of the floating world gave Japanese a different sense of the world that a shut-off dictatorship could not. Manga much like Ukiyo-e is an expression and progression of this floating world. In a sense it conveys ultimate freedom or possibility ==> and isn't that the definition of art. Do people want language or art that is forcibly constrained?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think many posters' comments about Japanese inability in English are fairly insulting too and not objective.

What does that have to do with "I hope you're not an English teacher"? My remarks were neither insulting nor lacking in objectivity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Himajin, Did you read all the posts above? The posts that are similar to your opinion and the posts that are against them? Do you understand what the latter is saying? You asked:

"Why not pronounce them as they are pronounced in the original language? "

Because it's difficult.

"It's more difficult to say 'makudonarudo' than 'McDonald's' or 'gorufu', for the simple work golf, 'ru-ki' for rookie, sui-tsu for 'sweets'

It's more difficult to say 'McDonald's' than 'makudonarudo' to Japanese. golf than gorufu, rookie than ru-ki, sweets than sui-tsu. It seems very obvious.

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Turbo, Trium, Jennifer

Thanks for your replies. It seems clear that Manga can indeed be "literature." and not mere pulp fiction.

Hokusai...

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Does Donald mean get rid of Katakana as in writing it as まくどなるど。 Katakana characters belong to a higher class of Kanji. Like あ is cursive or a style of calligraphy for 安 and つ is 川 et cetera in Hiragana, ア is absolutely an amazingly beautiful way of writing 阿。it's not just a cropped part of a Kanji. Some may appear to be but if you write it in calligraphy you'll know.

One should really write Kanji before practicing Katakana or Hiragana.

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