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Creative and innovative uses of English in contemporary Japan: localised taste of the global in manners posters and advertising texts

Inagawa, Mayuko 2015. Creative and innovative uses of English in contemporary Japan: localised taste of the global in manners posters and advertising texts. English Today 31 (3) , pp. 11-16. 10.1017/S026607841500019X

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Abstract

Over the last century or so, English has become a global lingua franca. Today, English is the first language of 400 million people and the second language of as many as 1.4 billion (Millward & Hayes, 2012: 342). In addition, it is the language that is predominantly used on the Internet; 80% of homepages on the Web are in English, followed by German (4.5%) and Japanese (3.1%) (Millward & Hayes, 2012: 343). Needless to say, English serves as a medium of communication regardless of the speaker's first language. As English spreads globally, fragments of its lexicon also permeate native languages, enriching their lexicons. This paper is concerned with the use of English and its elements, including English-derived words, in contemporary Japan, especially within the discourse of ‘Manners Posters’, posters which promote good manners in public spaces, and advertising texts. These types of media display creative and innovative uses of English that interact with Japanese at various linguistic levels in the form of wordplay, communicating messages, sometimes even in the form of puns, to achieve particular ends in a given context. We will look at this phenomenon from the ‘glocal’ point of view – i.e., the mechanisms and effects of a fusion between ‘global English’ and local culture that create a localised or nativised taste of the global.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0266-0784
Date of Acceptance: 13 October 2014
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2019 15:14
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/73206

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