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December 08, 2004

Glossy English for the Ladies

Yesterday's Daily Yomiuri carried an article on magazines written in easy English and aimed at women. With glossy covers and articles on movies, travel and food, they look very similar to established women's fashion magazines. The number of such magazines has ballooned during the last year. Examples included: 'ENGLINK' from Chukei Publishing, which like learner dictionaries uses a vocabulary of 2,000 words; 'Virgin English' (Alc press), which carries the copy "Getting beautiful in English"; 'English Style' (Gakken), which invites readers to "Enjoy gourmet English!"; 'In English' by Takeshobo and 'Eigo de Good Life' from MC Press. One magazine editor commented, somewhat cynically, "Women are greedy and they get bored learning English unless there's something in it for them. That's why new types of English magazines with celebrity and lifestyle stories were created." (original article not available online)

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