The Melting Pot
Growing up Americans are often taught that America is the melting pot of the world. Various cultures come, and we all learn to get along in unity as one nation under God - and under the English language.
Japan, on the other hand, is about 99% culturally Japanese, though linguistically it is one of the biggest melting pots in the world. I admit my survey is severely limited, but judging from how Japanese have adapted and improved every invention known to man, I am quite certain they are also one of the best at adapting to (not sure about improving) the English language. Let me tell you what I mean...
Every year the Japanese government approves of more and more English words to be officially accepted as "Japanese". In popular culture, even more so, English has infiltrated every field, nearly every pop song, and nearly every conversation. Surprisingly, it sometimes makes it even harder for a native English speaker to adapt to all the various pronunciations of English words - it would be easier just to learn a NEW word!
For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, l will give you some real Japanese words. See if you can come up with the equivalent English word!
Okay, here are the answers:
Now you know some Japanese!
At the rate in which words are changing, my guess is that someday - maybe in about 150 years, Japanese itself will be a complete sub-English language, much like pigeon English or Singlish (Singaporean English). Japanese itself is the melting pot of languages! The only thing that could change that would be another big war. During World War 2, Japanese were forced to go back to using the traditional words instead of English infused words! Baseball, could not be "besuboru" anymore. Even today, it still remains as yakkuu (Field ball). The way Japan keeps beating America in baseball, I think that is one word that will never again be changed!
For any Japanese people reading this post, let me give you a fun game to try. Try to have a conversation at the table without using any katakana English. If you do, you are out. My wife and some others tried to do this once. Of course I was the winner!