BGM: P-MODEL - 夢見る力に
Today I read Teruhisa Se's book (it's difficult for me to translate the title into English...). It was a little bit old one so the topic is also old (for example, in it he discusses about the "TPP"). But I can enjoy it because the issues in it are still actual and fresh. In Japan, a lot of universities and companies try to use English as if to become "globalized". They do their lectures/presentations in English, and also use the English as their common language. But this book discusses that it could ruin this Japan completely with various evidence. It is a hot book I guess. Once, Japan had to face that kind of "globalization" in our history, but we have walked this path. It was that training the language Japanese strictly to be used as a one to be the common language of translating and reading. In other words, we trained Japanese therefore we could read various foreign books, and also could discuss about this world in Japanese. That have helped this country's development. So, as the conclusion of this book, I have to accept that believing the potential power of Japanese is important. We shouldn't believe blindly as "English is greater than Japanese", but be proud of the current state of development. We have cultivated our country by using Japanese. It must not be different from shameful nationalism as "Japan is no.1" I believe.
Me, I am a English learner. But I have never thought that it could be great if our common language were English. Indeed, if it were so, I could read the intellectuals' and authors' books and articles directly and smoothly in that English. Of course, that could be brilliant. I could read Edward W. Said's "Orientalism" in his original English, and also could discuss that with foreign readers on the internet.. But it also could mean that I couldn't read Kenzaburo Oe and Haruki Murakami in their crisp Japanese as now. That means I would lose a lot. Yes, it is a clear fact that English is a global language, therefore a lot of people are actually learning for their careers and also daily lives. But if I accepted it without no critical thinking, it would make some problems. Because it would mean "Imperialism in languages". It would mean that I could treat Japanese as a marginal language therefore just a minor one. That is the same as treating creole language as just a minor one. They must have their beauties and richness. I should be careful for that fact.
I am never an intellectual nor a politician, so I can't say any "actual" opinion. All I can write is just I want to improve my Japanese as a lifestyle. English is for me a way to live that lifestyle. So I want to declare that learning English never means for me throwing Japanese away completely. It means an opposite opinion of mine. I learn English to make my Japanese in myself richer. I have learned that learning foreign languages can enrich my mother tongue by reading Haruki Murakami, Yoko Tawada, and Vladimir Nabokov (although it can sound paradoxically). By the way, although I actually have been writing this journal for over 2 years. how can it have been improved? I can feel that it is becoming smoother to express my thoughts in English than before. That is the power or potential of human being I guess.
But this stance of mine can have a big problem. This stance, trying to accept and think the things as a bilingual, can be the lifestyle of elite. In other ways, I can live that lifestyle because "I can do it", "I am wise", "I am special and different from ordinary people who just speak single language". Now I am thinking how to answer that counter opinion... Can I live the paradox which means saving the beauty of Japanese with learning English and trying to say another opinion to the globalism. Oh my, today I speak too much! Remembering the movies and books which tell me "the problem which the people who couldn't learn their mother tongue enough", I have to be grateful for the luck of being born in this country. Because there must exist the system which has enabled me to learn how to read and write basically. And also, this country must have a great tradition of translation therefore I can have enjoyed various difficult books (although there can be various "lost in translation"). As I wrote above, I can read Edward. W. Said's "Orientalism" in Japanese. Of course, that is because I can walk the path the pioneers in this country has created. Their efforts have enabled me to do that. So I want to declare that "how important to train our mother tongue" globally. I want to show my life as an evidence.