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Language on the Internet in Japan

Language on the Internet in Japan






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    Language on the Internet in Japan Language on the Internet in Japan Presentation Transcript

    • Prepared for 2009 Graduate seminarInformation Society & Multiculturalism (prof. Han Woo Park),at Yeungnam Univ. in S. Korea
      Language on the Internet in Japan
      by Nanette Gottlieb
      Presented by Kim KyoungEun
      8. October 2009
    • Introduction
      ▶ Two aspects of language use on the Internet in Japan
      A. what language are used on website and why
      B. innovative uses of the Japanese language itself in computer-mediated communication(CMC) including mobile messaging.
      ▶ Early view of language use on the internet
      : internet would become a linguistically homogenizing force, with English as lingua franca (common language)
      and in the mid 1990s the language of around 80 percent of websites was indeed English.
    • ▶ Against expectation, English was used by only 30 percent of the online population in 2006.
      ※ Top ten languages used on the internet
    • ▶ The prestige of English in cyber space has definitely declined. In the ‘blogosphere’, English has already been overtaken by Japanese.
    • ▶ the top six in descending order are
      English, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, French
      ▶ While multilingualism on the internet has undoubtedly increased, it remains restricted.
      The languages of the economically advantaged nations of the world have managed to establish a strong presence on the Internet.
    • The Language of the Japanese web
      ▶ The capacity to access large amounts of information in the national language, an aspect usually linked with economic power
      : Research result of UNESCO
      - While richer countries like Japan are able to access information in their own language, poorer ones may have to rely on English sources
      ▶ Japan has an old and venerated national language,
      a high literacy rate.
      In Japan, the internet will remain largely monolingual,
      except for the instrumental use of English and a few other languages.
    • ▶ English is not used widely on the Japanese web as a medium of communication.
      Japanese use on the internet conforms largely to the national borders of Japan.
      ▶Halavais′ 1998 study of 4,000 website & the destination of their hyperlink
      : sites most often linked to other sites within the same country.
      : the Japanese language web is accessed mainly by users in Japan itself or by Japanese living overseas.
    • ▶ the use of languages on the Japanese internet reflects the adherence to national borders.
      : the language of e-mail, chat room, website is overwhelmingly the national language.
      : Japanis a textbook case of‘pre-existing bias’
      ▶ A highly influential ethnocentric and essentialist literary genre known as Nihonjinron.
      : Nihonjinron underpinned much of the governmental, academic and culture writing on Japanese society during the post-war period and is still influential today.
    • ▶ Ricento conceptualizes three stages in the development of language policy.
      1) The early stage, where language was viewed as both a pragmatic resource and a tool for nation-building
      2) The 1970s &1980s, when the neutral view of language gave way to a critical awareness of the ideological trappings of language policy
      3) The present stage, in which the focus is on global flows and identity interactions
      -> Japan is now in this third stage while its existing language policies are largely derived from the first.
    • ▶ The most proactive official use of other language on the web is found at local government level, where there are instrumental benefits to facilitating integration of non-Japanese residents into the community.
      : e.g. the website of Tokyo′s Kita-Ku Ward office
      : e.g. survey of the top-level web pages on the 23 special wards of central Tokyo
      : e.g. the website of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government
    • Innovative uses of Japanese online
      ▶ In the forms of CMC, Mobile phone (keitai) messaging is especially important in Japan.
      : in particular, this is true with text messages
      -> during the early 1990s, text message sent by pagers
      -> after 1996, mobile phone replaced the pager
      ▶‘Keitai culture’
      : i-mode mobile internet messaging, photo and movie e-mail, unconventional digital font style, a host of associated items and so on.
    • ▶ Keitai text messages is dominated by woman in teens and twenties.
      : low service price / in public spaces, ‘no voice, e-mail okay’ culture
      : in text message, the tone is casual and colloquial, featuring use of onomatopoeia, children expressions, regional dialect and emoticons.
      ▶ Emoticons are known as ‘Kao moji’ or ‘e moji’ in Japanese
    • ▶ ‘gyarumoji’ (gal talk)
      : e.g. ‘tonight’ – ‘2night’
      e.g. 三時にあいましょう -> 三時レニあレノMaUょぅ
      ▶ Miller : kogals
      -> In Japan, where expectations of language use have always carried a heavy moral and symbolic freight of cultural nationalism.
      -> With this perception, ‘gal talk’ writing practices earn headshakes from older people.
    • ▶ Nishimura has classified unusual linguistic practices into three groups by analyzing ‘channel 2’ glossaries.
      1) Using characters phonetically to spell out words with the same pronunciation but different meaning.
      : e.g. 鯖 -> さば: saba
      2) Playing with symbols that are very similar in shape
      : e.g. ソ(so) instead of ノ(no)
      3) ‘conventionalized error’
    • Conclusion
      ▶ Thischapter has shown that language use on the Internet in Japan is in one sense conservative, reinforcing national preoccupation with language,
       and in another sense reactive, in that what use of foreign languages there is on the public web occurs
        as a result of perceived instrumental needs.
      -> Japan uses their own language both online and off, and that is unlikely to change.
      -> But, the use of Japanese on the Internet can be far from conservative. (in informal setting such as bulletin boards and e-mail or text message)