Japan Promotes Use of Proper English in Public Places during Olympic Games

While it is true that Japan is gaining tremendous popularity as a popular tourist destination across the globe, hundreds of thousands of globetrotters and travel enthusiasts also find it challenging to stroll around the Land of the Rising Sun due to language barrier.


Despite the dearth of information and instructions written in the English language circulating around Japan, international travellers still look forward to visit the country in order to go sightseeing, experience its unique culture and tradition as well as to try out the wide selection of iconic Japanese dishes.


Photo credit to: https://www.olympic.org/

With the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic games, the Japanese government is proactive in undertaking measures to promote English language conversation especially in public places and areas that are frequently visited by foreign tourists and sojourners. One of the first few steps implemented by the government to encourage the locals to speak English is the setting up of platforms such as but not limited to “English Villages” , “introducing authentic English” and “real life English communication” among others.


However, despite the establishment of these avenues that are intended to develop English language proficiency among local Japanese, it is necessary to make sure that advertisements, notices, explanations and other announcements in public places must be written in understandable sentences with correct English grammar and structure.


At present, the English terminologies utilized in most Japanese signage posted in common places such as public transportation are considered highfalutin. Most of the time, the words used are no longer appropriate based on the context intended to be relayed to tourists. The government is planning to amend these instructions by using plain, simple and accurate sentences in English.


The use of correct and proper English in public places is vital in order to further boost and promote tourism in the country. This is especially useful during the course of the Olympic Games considering the influx of international athletes, participants and spectators.


Reference: English in public places in Japan


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