‘Is Japanese Getting Simpler, Easier or Just Worse?’

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  11.09.09 | 2:09 PM ET

Writing in the New York Times, Emily Parker ponders the changes being wrought on the Japanese language by the internet and cell phones:

Americans may fret over the ways digital communications encourage sloppy grammar and spelling, but in Japan these changes are much more wrenching. A vertically written language seems to be becoming increasingly horizontal. Novels are being written and read on little screens. People have gotten so used to typing on computers that they can no longer write characters by hand. And English words continue to infiltrate the language.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

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