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The Difficulties Native Japanese Speakers Have to Lose their Accent to Speak English
Rosangela Sayuri Miyamoto Muniz
Division:
Literature and Languages
Department:
History
Mentor:
Brent Rudmann
Mentor's e-mail:
brudmann@occ.cccd.edu
Author's e-mail:
rmiyamotomuniz@student.cccd.edu
Abstract:

According to the Pew Research Center between 2000 and 2015, the Asian population in the U.S grew 72%. Immigrants from Japan have an extremely difficult time fully integrating into the American lifestyle, especially with regards to speaking un-accented English, due to the unique phonology of the native Japanese speaker, and the culture that persists until nowadays. The COVID situation increased the discrimination against Asians. To both understand and provide some reasons for empathy amongst the American population about why the Japanese accent is so difficult to lose as English is learned, a variety of literature is being reviewed, including a variety of excellent studies provided by the Linguistic Society of America which includes a number of reports pertaining to the subject of how Japanese pronunciation them, and the book written by Rod Ellis “The Study Of Second Language Acquisition.” What these studies will show the challenges to acquire a second language of immigrants from Japan that contain an accent even after many years of residency in the United States, which can result in discrimination and a negative judgment among native English speakers. It is hoped that a more wide-spread understanding amongst the American population as to the reasons why native Japanese speakers have an incredibly difficult language transition to make in the United States may lead to reduce discrimination and increased cultural empathy.

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