Teachers' blog


【What we often don’t talk about Australia 3】


(Contributed by Takashi)
Another coincidental event happened last week. It was that Prime Minister Abe delivered a speech at the US Congress, touching on the war issue. I have not listened to the speech personally. What I have heard instead is a remark made on the speech by a veteran American journalist.
He said that he was in Japan when Abe’s visit was approaching and his staffers were busy preparing for it. He learned from the staffers that they were painstakingly crafting PM Abe’s speech in such a way that his words would be remorseful when said in English during the speech but they would not sound apologetic when translated into Japanese later and Japanese people would read it through media sources. Of course, the reporter was derisive of this practice although he was very familiar that this type of practices would happen always and everywhere.
This year commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Surely there must be many ceremonies and events lined up here in Japan as well as in other countries. PM Abe’s staffers may be still busy crafting another speech or two as I write this.
I don’t have a conclusion to draw from the above miscellaneous thoughts except to say – misunderstanding, particularly the kinds deliberately made, is one of the important reasons why I feel we Japanese, along with others, must acquire the English language. It is a crucial means for us all to develop common sense that is really common with the rest of the world. Many wars happened because of the lack of mutual understanding. Many other wars happened because of mutual misunderstanding purposefully created. A shared language must reduce the chances those happening.

Copyright © 2014 NTT Learning Systems Corporation. All Rights Reserved.