• Tokyo


the Jan. 1 letter “Problem with Asian English“: I wonder whether there is anything known as “Asian English.” English is English, whether spoken in Asian countries or elsewhere. To categorize it by region may be incorrect. The English language, as enunciated at Oxford and Cambridge, is, or rather ought to be, taught and practiced everywhere. Phonetics and pronunciation will vary from place to place, depending on the degree of proficiency achieved by speakers.

It should be appreciated that, except for people whose mother tongue is English, English is a foreign language for those who have learned it through their own native teachers. Surprisingly, though, many among them turn out to be outstanding orators.

So, there is nothing for an English teacher with 40 years experience to be perturbed or disgusted about. Since the writer of the letter has chosen an Indian on whom to vent his feelings, I would advise him to just look around Japan itself, where he can meet many Indians who will help him change his opinion. I am proud to state that the English — pure queen’s English — taught and spoken in schools and colleges in India is of a very high standard, comparable with that at Oxford and Cambridge. Other subjects, too, are given equal importance.

It is thus little wonder that some Japanese parents are choosing Indian schools for their children.

bimal shukla

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.