City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Cultural Studies of Japanese
and English Language
Professor Teruyuki Komatsu
Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, Nagoya Gakuin University
Date: 26 Feb 2008, Tuesday
Time: 1:30pm - 3:20pm
Venue: Y5303 (5/F, Yellow Zone), Academic Building, CityU
For foreigners, Japanese language is seemingly a very difficult language. The most difficult aspect of Japanese language lies in understanding Kanji-characters which are based on "Han" dynasty Chinese characters. Another difficulty comes from its grammar and word order. In English, subject comes first and then verb follows. In Japanese language, subject sometimes be omitted and verb comes at the end. These difficulties are well known, but there is a new development for linguistic cultural studies. Take an example in the case of Japanese students who wish to study English from comparative linguistic cultural aspect. The singular form of first person is " I " in the English language, but there are nearly 30 synonymous words for " I " in the Japanese language. What does this imply? This fact leads us to examine the intricate social attribution placed on the appropriate use of Japanese language. The social attribution are based on gender difference, difference of social position, and age difference. In this lecture, the following issues will be explained from comparative studies of linguistic culture between Japanese and English language.
1. Meaning of social attribution in Japanese language i.e., gender difference, age difference, and difference of social position.
2. Methodological issue on comparative linguistic cultural studies of English and Japanese language.
3. Amusing typological misinterpretation of English words and phrases by the beginning level Japanese students.
Teruyuki Komatsu is an Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics of Nagoya Gakun Unversity; the Executive Director of Japan Society for Multicultural Relations (JSMR); and the President of International Federation for Social Science Organizations (IFSSO).
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