Make English a true multicultural language

On Aug. 15, 1808, the HMS Phaeton entered Japan’s southwestern territory without permission and unconditionally demanded food, fuel and water. The British warship was allowed to stay for three days before leaving Nagasaki, mainly due to the Japanese official translators only knowing the Dutch language. After this event, the Tokugawa Shogunate issued an order, on Dec. 12, 1808, stating that professional translators should learn English as well, ushering in English-language study to Japan.

From the Meiji Restoration up until quite recently, English gained in popularity. Students were expected to learn British English or American English because the United Kingdom and the United States were associated with such modern values as democracy, advanced knowledge and industries, and other sophisticated forms of culture and civilization. Learning English as such played an important role in Japan’s modernization. In view of its present-day spread, however, it is obvious that Japanese people will need it as a language for international communication. Read the whole article…

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