things of little relevance


turning japanese
November 8, 2009, 3:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Is Technology Dumbing Down Japanese?

Now the Japanese language is being transformed by blogs, e-mail and keitai shosetsu, or cellphone novels. Americans may fret over the ways digital communications encourage sloppy grammar and spelling, but in Japan these changes are much more wrenching. A vertically written language seems to be becoming increasingly horizontal. Novels are being written and read on little screens. People have gotten so used to typing on computers that they can no longer write characters by hand. And English words continue to infiltrate the language.

So what do these changes mean for a language long defined by indirect locutions and long, leisurely sen­tences that drift from the top of the page? Is Japanese getting simpler, easier or just worse?

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