Scientific Japanese based on English for global communication
林洋子 著 野口ジュディ監修
As the world is evolving to accommodate the movement toward globalization, some promote the top priority of English. However, others claim that Japanese language education is essential for research in Japan. Our previous work based on linguistic considerations has shown that scientific Japanese can present clearer messages to a professional community. This paper examines the structure of an e-mail message using a test from the Japanese Language Aptitude Test 2009-2, level 3, and essays in major Japanese newspapers. Comparative analyses revealed that Japanese may not only maintain harmony in a community but also help develop creative skills. Based on these findings, language education in Japan should make it a priority issue to be aware of the linguistic properties of Japanese and the differences between Japanese and English. Studies in humanities course should be open in English as well. Only in this way can the Japanese turn out the force of arms.
Keywords ： Globalization, Language Education, Scientific Japanese, Creative Skills
This study examines the language used by researchers in science and engineering, where clarity is essential. We prepared The Japanese-English Corpus of Presentations in Science and Engineering (JECPRESE) to examine how language is used in science and engineering to clearly and accurately present information. JECPRESE contains transcriptions of presentations given in Japanese and English by researchers. Analyses revealed vagueness in Japanese arising from the tendencies of the Japanese language to sometimes omit subjects and to lack specificity in conveying discourse strategies, verb tense, and mood. Such vagueness is considered to have roots in traditional Japanese society and culture that aim to maintain harmony in a community. However, in an age of global communications, this can be an obstacle to projecting an understandable message. Suggestions are made as to how to make scientific Japanese present clearer messages to a professional community based on linguistic considerations.
The Great East Japan Earthquake and the
Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant accident revealed serious problems with Japanese information communication systems. From a rhetorical viewpoint, the Japanese language starts to explain a
situation from the beginning and leaves the outcome until the end. In traditional Japanese culture, the world is thought to move with the collective flow of nature, and all things are constantly
in the process of change. Thus, self-assertion is not encouraged in Japan. The Japanese language itself is imbued with “vagueness,” possessing a wealth of vocabulary and expressions but often not
being conducive to sending out a clear message. Unfortunately, under emergency circumstances, such as experienced in March 2011, serious problems can occur. In this paper, we examine the language
used by researchers in science and engineering, where clarity is essential. We prepared the Japanese-English Corpus of Presentations in Science and Engineering (JECPRESE) of transcriptions of
presentations given in Japanese and English by researchers. Our comparative analyses revealed that the “vagueness” in Japanese results from missing subjects and a lack of sensitivity for
paragraph structure (idea frameworks) ,verb tense and mood. In order to send out a clear message, more effort needs to be made to be aware of the audience’s viewpoint. Only in this way can the
Japanese learn to speak out without “vagueness” as the world accelerates towards internationalization with the ever increasing need to send out clear
現代日本語のコーパスは、書き言葉のみならず話し言葉についても整備されつつある。 しかし、留学生を含む大学院の学生が最も必要とする修士論文口頭発表のデータは未だ明 らかにされていないのが現状である。これは、知的財産権の問題があること、および学位 取得のための口頭発表が専門分野に属するものとされ言語教育の対象とは思われてこなか ったことなどによると考えられる。
そこで、我々は許可を得て修士論文口頭発表のデータを収集し、英語の発表と比較検討す る研究に取り組んでいる。本稿ではデータ収集の歩み、およびデータを載せた検索サイト JECPRESE の開発、およびデータの解析結果の一部について概観する。
Good communication skills are essential for students majoring in engineering today. We focused
on how to promote the efficient teaching of oral presentations using JECPRESE, The Japanese–
English Corpus of Presentations in Science and Engineering. This paper reports the lexical
frequency analysis of parts of speech units found in 109 Japanese presentations given in partial
fulfillment of master's degree requirements by graduate students in chemical and mechanical
engineering. The presentations from both disciplines showed about the same numbers of units
for most grammatical classes, suggesting that such units are basic to the language of science and
technology. The exception was with verbal nouns and field-specific nouns, for which detailed lists
could be prepared for each discipline. Interestingly, further examination of the lexicon revealed
an influence of English usage on Japanese technical expressions. Our findings suggest that new
Japanese expressions are being created to deal with what is being expressed in English, especially
for discussing the results.
The process of initiating a novice into a discourse community has been examined for the writing of research papers but not for oral presentations. We had the opportunity to record the oral
research presentations of three students on two occasions; the first was their master’s degree graduation presentations and the second was after a period of two years. These recordings are part
of The Japanese-English Corpus of Presentations in Science and Engineering (JECPRESE) scheduled for release at the end of 2008. This paper describes their development as speakers with respect to
the use of words, phrases and rhetorical organization in their oral presentations.