Sunday, November 4, 2012

More Imagination and Creativity

"In the middle of a foreign culture" by Joseph Roggendorf

I love the author and enjoy reading his books.  But today I came across this.  P. 109, he writes, "Because of the previous reasons, Japanese language is fit to express the kind of thinking that diminishes exactness and absoluteness more and more.

I'm amazed how negative his point of view is about the Japanese language.  My opinion is exactly the opposite.  I strongly believe that if you learn the Japanese language, it demands more imagination from readers.  More and more you read and write the Japanese language, you can't help, but you will develop your creativity.  I guarantee it!

I wish he weren't dead, so I could talk with him on this point.

If you are studying Japanese, please let me know what you think.


Vincent said...

Unfortunately I'm unable to learn Japanese, but when I read your quote from page 109, it didn't sound like a negative thing at all.

What he says about Japanese is certainly true of English, a language which is also very fit to express inexactness!

But I'd be interested to know more about Roggendorf's opinion, and what language he is comparing Japanese with. German?

keiko amano said...


Thank you for your response. It's a similar matter as I wrote before, so my opinion hasn't changed much, but it has become stronger.

He wrote it in 1982, so it is not new. Since then, more authors wrote more and more interesting books on language and culture, but I'm sure those authors had read Roggendorf's books and wrote their opinions based on his arguments. Although I'm writing this, I enjoy reading his books. There is no doubt that he was extremely knowledgeable.

Because my response to you became very long, I have created new post to continue the same subject. I know my suggestion is crazy, but I've seen some good examples before. I don't know if the authors were aware of it. Those writings make me think more.