Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Japanese literacy book sales spiking

Why? Prime Minister Aso quite publicly bungled a televised reading test, confusing some characters that have, well, divergent meanings.

From the AP via Yahoo News:

‘The Japanese leader bungled the word for “frequent,” calling Japan-China exchanges “cumbersome” instead. Another time, he misread the word “toshu” (follow), saying “fushu” — or stench — and sounded as if he were saying government policy “stinks.”‘

As a result, people are rushing buy books and brush up on their reading skills. And in a language with thousands upon thousands of characters, this is no easy task.

Publishers take heed!

Bonus: Gossip magazines blame Aso’s love of Manga, calling his mistakes “Manga Brain.” Ouch. Sounds like they’re no kinder over there.

Latest Comments

Have your say!