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大学体验英语第四册Unit4-Passage B

Could 'Japanglish' be a Legitimate Language?
 "We wish all the time to be able to provide you fresh bread and to propose you a joy of eating life with bread," says the sign in my local bakery. "Especially, we want to be a host at dinner of your kitchen1. We are waiting for you with various kinds of bread, cakes and sandwiches." 
 The general meaning is clear, but could it ever be considered correct English? Yes, according to an American academic in Japan, who says that "Japanese English" has as much claim to legitimacy as the English spoken in, for example, India, Jamaica and the Philippines.  

 Marshall Childs, who has a doctorate in education, believes that Japanese students should ignore the "snobbery" of British and American English and speak the language in a way that suits them, even if that means breaking the accepted rules of grammar, pronunciation and sentence structure. 

 But his championing of "Japlish", also known here as "Japanglish," has infuriated some of his colleagues and led to a lively spat in the columns of Japan's English language newspaper, the Daily Yomiuri  

?Mr Childs, who is academic dean of an international college in Japan, says the blend of two languages is acceptable because it makes English comprehensible to the Japanese ear.  

 "Creative syntax is the hallmark of Japanese English. The result is a waker-upper for those who expect standard syntax, but the meaning is usually perfectly comprehensible, perhaps because it follows a natural flow of thoughts. 

 "If we (native English speakers) feel prejudice against Japanese English, that is our problem, not a Japanese problem." 

? A resident of Japan for 16 years, Mr Childs criticizes English language schools which "shame" their students into signing up for lessons in "correct" English.  

?"I know one student who, after 15 years of English study, faithfully accepted the word of a new teacher that she had to relearn pronunciation from the ground up, this time learning it 'properly' in British English.  

?"That experience set her back several years and several million yen. Most students do not need high-prestige accents; they need to develop smooth habits of hearing and speaking. These habits are much more easily developed if the variety of English is congenial to the learner."  

?Mr Childs adds: "The sheer exuberance of popular uses of Japanese English is admirable and should be encouraged, not condemned." 

 "In school, students are rightly bored with the 'correct' English that does not touch their lives." Fluency in standard British or American English, he suggests, should be left to specialists in literature, the performing arts, interpreting and international negotiation.  
 Nonsense, retorts fellow American academic Daniel Webster, who says Mr Childs is doing Japanese students of English a disservice by telling them something is right when it is simply wrong. 

 "People in Asia and the Caribbean who speak those other kinds of English to which Childs compares Japanese English can and do converse fluently in them, with each other and with foreigners", says Mr Webster, a visiting instructor in the English department of Waseda University in Tokyo. "They can also understand English-language movies without subtitles, and the educated among them can understand Henry James. Some of these latter can even write in an English that is of the highest literary quality. 

 "None of the above is true of those who use 'Japanglish'. In fact, I can assure Childs that the only place where this Japanese-English exists as a real medium for more than the most rudimentary kind of communication is in households where one, or some, of the members is a native-speaker of Japanese and the other, or the others, is not.  
 "It will never extend beyond these homes. Outside of those individual houses and apartments, the Japanese-English Childs admires so much is just a lot of gobbledegook. And that's exactly what it will always be," Mr Webster declares. 
 Japan is currently looking for ways to improve the standard of English teaching in its schools. Although virtually all children learn English for several years, the Japanese lag behind other Asian countries in English proficiency --- a trend which politicians and business leaders say makes them less effective in commerce and diplomacy. A textbook called "English for the Over-40s" is a bestseller here, and growing numbers of executives are enrolling in English courses to improve their promotion prospects. 
 Last year, a panel of experts advising then prime minister Keizo Obuchi called for a national debate on whether to make English Japan's "second official language". The idea, which would oblige the government, local councils and other official bodies to draw up documents in both languages, has been criticized by some as a further move towards western erosion of Japanese culture. 
 Whatever the new government of Junichiro Koizumi decides, one can only hope that no one removes the notice at the Tokyo City Air Terminal which advises passengers to be "cautious for pickpockets." Or the sign on a drinks vending machine which says the company responsible has selected "first class ingredients with confidence for offering consumer best products which get you a nice time day after day." 
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