fredag 26. november 2010

Japanese English

Today in class, we read texts about Japanese English.
How Japan from the world war II has developed from a country with a culture and society compared to a twelve years old boy, to a country with a huge growth within comics and technology. Japan has now actually gone by the western society when it comes to technology within computers and cars.

Our generation has grown up with Japanese animation movies, called animes. Everybody remember Pokemon and Digimon, both Japanese cartoons. Before Manga and Anime ( comics and animated films) the Japanese brought western comedies and cartoons to Japan that started a revolution of their own. The Japanese have not only made cartoons, but they have created a whole concept around their cartoon figures. Cards, toys and television programs gets children hooked.

The popular figures from the Mangas are often copied and used in videogames and advertisements, not just in Japan, but in America and other western countries. American advertisement agencies have actually hired Japanese Manga experts to draw figures for their campains and advertisements. The culture of Manga and Anime is mixed and combined with the traditional western comics and cartoons.

Peoples fascination within the Manga and Anime lies in the thought of the future development of science and technology. Scientists that have grown up with these cartoons are bringing the looks of the Animes in to their science. Some for instance make robots with the looks of a typical Anime figure. In the Japanese culture a superhero is not the same as we think of. Their picture of a superhero is a friendly robot, alien or an android with the intention of creating harmony between mankind and machines. So their superhero is no Clark Kent or Spiderman as in the western world. Very often, the cartoons have a underling meaning that you often can associate with something going on in the real world.

I also read about how the Japanese focus their English studies on grammar, and they often are better in grammar and understands it better than English native speakers. In one of the texts I read about a girl named Keiko, who was going to New York to speak for an assembly. She got an American boy to write her speech, but she corrected the text and made it more formal and actually perfect concerning grammar. This I find quite impressing. She emphasizes that writing English should be clear, direct and simple.

I also learned about English in South-Asia. For example India where one third of the population can carry a conversation in English. India is the country that has been exposed to English the most where it is a second language. India was a British colony for a very long time, but it is also one of the countries in the world with the highest population and poverty rates. On the other side India is one of the most highly developed countries within technology. They also use English as a national language in politics and commercials. English is on its way to becoming the key to success in India.

Also China that has shunned English for many years how now taken the global language in to their education again. Now the Chinese see English as a connection to facilitate access to modern scientific and technological advances. They have realized that they have to be a part of the international society to be able to develop their knowledge. Today the number of people that study English in China is much larger than the combined population of all countries where English is the mother tongue.

Working as we did with these texts is a study technique that I like. And writing about it afterwards gives me the opportunity to drift around the subject and make it my own. I think Japanese English and the other things I read about today is something I will be able to use in a future exam.

torsdag 11. november 2010

The Kite Runner - The Movie

Last week we watched The Kite Runner in class. Regarding to that the movie is based on a book, I liked it very much. Often the director doesn't manage to catch the sence of the book making the movie, but the director of The Kite Runner really did.

When I wrote my double entry journal, one of the paragraphs I chose was when Hassan and Amir met Assef and his gang in the alley. This is one of the moments in the movie that I really related to from the book.

This is the paragraph and what I wrote about it.

Page 35 and 36.
His blue eyes flicked to Hassan. “Afghanistan is the land of Pashtuns. … We are the true Afghans, the pure Afghans, not this Flat-Nose here. His people pollute our homeland, our watan. They dirty our blood.” … he reached for something from the back pocket of his jeans. “I’ll ask the president to do what the king didn’t have the quwat to do. To rid Afghanistan of all the dirt, kasseef Hazaras.”
“Just let us go, Assef,” I said, hating the way my voice trembled. “we’re not bothering you.” Oh, you’re bothering me,” Assef said. …” You are bothering me very much, more than this Hazara here. How can you talk to him, play with him, let him touch you?” he said, his voice dripping with disgust.
… Assef slipped on the brass knuckles. Gave me an icy look. “You’re a part of the problem, Amir. If idiots like you and your father didn’t take these people in, we’d be rid of them by now.”…Assef raised his fist and came for me. There was a flurry of rapid moment behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Hassan bend down and stand up quickly. Assef’s eyes same look of astonishment on Kamal and Wali’s faces as they too saw what had happened behind me. I turned and came face to face with Hassan’s slingshot.

Through Hassan and Amir’s childhood, their worst fear has always been Assef and his friends.

Here they meet the three boys when they are out playing. Assef lectures Amir about how he is a bad Afghan, housing Hazaras. Amir is scared to death, he know he’s not able to stand up for himself in front of Assef. It is when Assef is just about to hit him that Hassan steps in, saves his friend.

He threatens Assef, say he will blind him on one of his eyes if he tries to hit Amir. Assef and his gang disappear, but Hassan is going to pay for this later, and then nothing will ever be the same again.