Saturday, January 2, 2016
Japanese Language Flag
Why do we need a Japanese language flag? Isn't a plain old Japanese flag good enough. No, because the national flag of Japan can indicate several other meanings. It has a political nature, but language flags with their distinct sea green and blue fields indicate the subject of language over heritage, history, political, or ethnic associations.
The colours of navy blue and sea green reflect that language is the water element of a persons identity. Like a water that fills a glass, whatever environment your early mind is shaped in you will take on that identity. Learning a language is like learning to swim, it takes time and practice and eventually an ocean of information overtakes the mind. Many people can only swim or sail in one type of ocean. Some persons who are native to the English Ocean in the United States can paddle a little bit in the Spanish Ocean. But nearly everyone in the United States can splash around in the kiddie pools of France, Japan, or China since they may know a few words: like Bonjour! Shay Shay? Oui! Domoarigato! It takes time and a lot of practice to sail in different Linguistic Oceans, especially if you are a native to the English Ocean of Speech.
Remember that most people in Canada and the United States may speak English, yet are not English. Thus one should not confuse language with ethnicity as is often the case with Spanish speakers, since there are many people who sail the Spanish Ocean their entire lives, yet do not have one drop of Spanish blood in the heart. Once again, there are many people with English names in the USA who live their entire life in the English Ocean and have absolutely no English blood flowing their veins, like Wendy McDonald who may speak perfect academic English, yet is totally Scotch-Irish.
Likewise everyone in Japan can do the doggie paddle in the English Ocean. The ones who can't are just afraid. Oddly many Japanese know the geography of the English Ocean better than native born English Ocean speakers, yet get little practice sailing the seas in person. It's like people who study cooking and baseball from a book and can do well on a baseball or cooking written test, yet have never played a baseball game nor cooked a meal.