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July 12, 2002

Engrish/Japlish Still Makes News

A Reuters article this week showed once again that people never tire of hearing about just how bad the standard of English is here in Japan, pointing out things like the airline offering "Non-stop frights", or the helpful railway station sign that reads: "For restrooms go back toward your behind." The usual suspects, like Ritsuko Nakata and Gregory Clark, gave their theories on what's wrong with the system, citing incompetent teachers, post-war complacency and Japan's centuries-long seclusion among other reasons. Some up-to-date statistics, though: number of people taking the TOIEC test annually - 1.3 million; number of NOVA students - 350,000; number of Shane students - 30,000.

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