07 November 2006

国内 外国

Today, I made a passionate speech in one of my classes about the translation of this damn writing exercises model answer: "We must try to have Japan understood more by other countries through English as an international language. I think it will be great if Japanese people can make themselves understood in English and one of the Asian languages. In particular, Chinese and Korean will be more important for Japanese people in the future."

Despite being a shitty piece of writing, I'm really struggling with what it means to "make Japan understood". I demanded another noun: "Japanese culture"? "Japanese language"? This just sounds pushy. Also, I went on for a while about "one of the Asian languages". Like Japanese? There is this ridiculous thought still lingering in the Japanese psyche that Japan is not a part of Asia. Well, first-year English pupils, it is.

国内-外国 Inside Japan, outside Japan. There are really only two places in this world. "I am not a foreigner," I said to them. "I am an American. Do you understand the difference?" I realized I went a little too far. Let's get back to checking our answers.

I hope if anyone remembers anything about Stephen Sensei, it's how passionate he was. I would be even more happy if they come to understand why I am so passionate. I don't even know sometimes.
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