Open Seminar

Vol. 31.

English and Japanese Through the Prism of German

  • Date: 22nd January 2021, 17:30-19:30
  • Venue: Online (Via Zoom)
  • Speaker: Jiro Inaba (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo)

My specialism is linguistics. While I am interested in languages in general, particularly Japanese and English, I also work on German, as I find it a fascinating subject. Like English, German belongs to the West Germanic language group and, naturally, has many points in common with English. For example, the English used in a somewhat earlier age is actually more similar to modern German than to modern English. Learning German also helps in gaining a deeper understanding of English. At the same time, while German and Japanese have no systematic relationship, they share similarities not found in English. Taking English as my point of departure, in this seminar I will outline the distinctive features of German as a language, with a primary focus on its grammatical aspects. Following on from this, I will draw upon comparisons and contrasts with English and Japanese in examining the similarities and differences between languages. A knowledge of German grammar is not a prerequisite for attending this seminar.