Thursday, February 4, 2010

Inglorious Emericans and Jepanese

The following clip is my favorite scenes from Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. If you haven't seen the movie, you most definitely should. It's violently funny and engrossing. The schizophrenic and polygot villain (who speaks English, German, French, and Italian), Land, is probably one of my favorite fictional characters of all time.

This section of the movie in particular pokes fun at Americans who in general can't speak any language but English (something that is flatly said in an earlier scene by the same female character in this section). This is so dead on the spot and one wonders if the language education in the States - just like the English education in Japan - will ever get better.

In Japan people start studying English from middle school - in some places from elementary school - all the way up to college and all we are good at is to translate, on paper, from Japanese to English and vice versa, and most us, just like the character Brad Pitt plays here, can only spit out a few bits of English when forced to speak.

And we are talking about the two biggest economies in the world. Conclusion?

GDP has little to do with linguistic ability.

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