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There are many types of English around the world. Some well-known varieties in Asia include Chinglish in China, Singlish in Singapore and Japanese English. A group of language experts in Japan is troubled by how the government uses English. In particular, it says the government uses computer or online translation too much. Researchers say many translations create strange and confusing words and expressions. Many of these are confusing to English speakers. The researchers worry this could have a negative impact on Japan's tourist industry. They even say the increasing amount of unsuitable words is becoming a "national embarrassment" in Japan.



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The research team says computer software gives odd or incorrect translations for individual kanji - the Chinese characters used in Japanese writing. There are many examples of this, including "Hello Work" - the name for job centres, and "Go To Travel" a plan to help tourism in Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team says software creates, "unintentionally funny translations that could easily be corrected if they were just checked by an English speaker". Businesses also create this English. The Christmas message being used by the Seibu Sogo department store has raised eyebrows. It says "Stay Positive." Many people believe this is the wrong thing to say during coronavirus and "Stay Happy" would be better.

Sources:

  • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/18/hello-work-or-job-centre-language-experts-japan-english
  • https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201116/p2a/00m/0dm/006000c
  • https://japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/english-ad-in-japan-has-some-seeing-a-command-to-stay-infected-with-coronavirus-this-christmas

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