China is continuing to decline as a destination for U.S. study-abroad students, slipping from fifth place to sixth (behind Britain, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany; with Ireland, Australia, Costa Rica, and Japan completing the top ten).
This likely indicates that the craze for learning Mandarin has already peaked. Greater awareness of the unhealthy levels of pollution in China may also be a factor.
Note: The dip in the 2002–2003 school year was a result of worries about the outbreak of SARS.
Meanwhile, almost all other parts of East Asia saw increases in 2015–2016 over 2014–2015:
In other words, how, for example, does the use of domains compare with the use of .tw domains?
Since, unlike the case with Singapore, I don’t have the registration figures, I’m having to make do with Google hits, which is a different measure. For this purpose, Google is unfortunately a bit of a blunt instrument. But at least it should be a fairly evenhanded blunt instrument and will be useful in establishing baselines for later comparisons.
A few notes before we get started:
Japan has yet to bother with completing the process for its own name in kanji (), so it is omitted here.
Macau only recently asked for and , so those figures are still at zero.
Oddly enough, there’s no ccTLD, even though the Ma administration, which was in power when Taiwan’s ccTLDs went into effect, officially prefers the more complex form of to — not to mention prefering it to .
Percent of Total
So in no instance does the Chinese character ccTLD reach even one half of one percent of the total for any given place.
Here are the results in a chart.
Note that the ratio of simplified:traditional forms in China and Taiwan are roughly mirror images of each other, as is perhaps to be expected.
The top 10 destinations for U.S. students studying abroad were unchanged in the 2009–2010 school year compared to the year before. China remained in fifth place, with its numbers up only 1.7% over the previous year.
Number of U.S. students studying abroad, by destination and year
By far the largest gains of destinations in the top 25 were those by Israel (60.7% — up to 3,146 visiting students) and India (44.4% — up to 3,884). Though not in the top 25, Taiwan also experienced very strong growth at 42.4% (850 students) — far higher than any other country in East Asia.
In second place for growth in East Asia was Japan (6.6%), which will soon replace Costa Rica in the top 10 if trends continue.
For places of origin of international students studying in the United States, China was by far the leader, with 157,558 students, about 50% more than India’s 103,895 students in the States. Third and fourth places were held by South Korea and Canada, respectively. Taiwan was fifth with 24,818 students.
Professor J. Marshall Unger of the Ohio State University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures generously agreed to reexamine Google’s performance in conversions to rōmaji (Japanese written in romanization).
6-Nichi gogo 4-ji 35-fun-goro, Tōkyō-to Chiyoda-ku Kōkyogaien no todō (uchibori-dōri) no Nijūbashi zen kōsaten de, Chūgoku kara no kankō kyaku no 40-dai no dansei ga jōyōsha ni hane rare, zenshin o tsuyoku Utte mamonaku shibō shita. Kuruma wa hodō ni noriagete aruite ita dansei (69) mo hane, dansei wa atama o tsuyoku utte ishiki fumei no jūtai. Marunouchi-sho wa, unten shite ita Tōkyō-to Minato-ku hakkin 3-chōme, kaisha yakuin Takahashi nobe Tsubuse yōgi-sha (24) o jidōsha unten kashitsu shōgai no utagai de genkō-han taiho shi, yōgi o dō chishi ni kirikaete shirabete iru.
Dōsho ni yoru to, shibō shita dansei wa ōdan hodō o aruite watatte ita tokoro o chokushin shite kita kuruma ni hane rareta. Kuruma wa hidari ni kyū handoru o kiri, shadō to hodō no sakai ni oka reta kasetsu no saku o haneage, hodō ni noriageta toyuu. Saku wa hodō de ran’ningu o shite ita dansei (34) niatari, dansei wa ryōashi ni karui kega.
Dōsho wa, shibō shita dansei no mimoto kakunin o susumeru totomoni, tōji no kōsaten no shingō no jōkyō o shirabete iru.
Genba shūhen wa Tōkyō kankō no supotto no hitotsudaga, saikin wa jogingu o tanoshimu hito mo fuete iru.
The use of numerals dodges a plethora of errors, but “6-Nichi” is still wrong for Muika.
Lots of correct capitalizations have been added, but “uchibori” was missed and “Utte” capitalized by mistake.
Some false spaces or lack of spaces persist: “hane rare”, “oka reta”; “hitotsudaga” and “niatari” were correctly hitotsu da ga and ni atari in the original test.
Names still get butchered (“hakkin” for Shirogane, “nobe Tsubuse” for Nobuhiro.
The needless apostrophe in “ran’ningu” is still there.
Interestingly, “toyuu” is a new error: it should be to iu.
There’s evidence of some attempt to use hyphens, but why not in “kankō kyaku” or “Nijūbashi zen”?
China remained the fifth most popular destination for U.S. students studying abroad during the 2008/09 school year, and it continued to account for 5 percent of U.S. study abroad.
In the previous academic year, growth for the PRC as a destination increased 19.0 percent, while study abroad as a whole increased 8.5 percent. But for 2008/09 growth for China was a much smaller 3.9 percent, while the total worldwide figure declined -0.8 percent. Figures for the top four destinations also dropped.
The order of the top 10 remained the same as in the previous year, except Mexico and Germany switched places.
Top 10 destinations for study abroad by U.S. students in the 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09 school years
Some other figures of possible interest:
Japan was in 11th place with 5,784 students, a 1.3 percent increase over the previous year.
Taiwan’s total grew 3.3 percent to 597.
Hong Kong grew 5.7 percent to 1,155.
South Korea grew a dramatic 29.1 percent to 2,062.
Editorial Introduction: Romanisation in Comparative Perspective, by İlker Aytürk
The Literati and the Letters: A Few Words on the Turkish Alphabet Reform, by Laurent Mignon
Alphabet Reform in the Six Independent ex-Soviet Muslim Republics, by Jacob M. Landau
Politics of Romanisation in Azerbaijan (1921–1992), by Ayça Ergun
Romanisation in Uzbekistan Past and Present, by Mehmet Uzman
Romanisation of Bengali and Other Indian Scripts, by Dennis Kurzon
The Rōmaji movement in Japan, by Nanette Gottlieb
Postscript from the JRAS Editor, Sarah Ansari
Unfortunately, none of these cover any Sinitic languages or the case of Vietnam. And Gottlieb’s take on rōmaji is certainly more conservative than Unger’s. But I expect this will all make for interesting reading.
I am able to view all of the articles on my system. But perhaps others will run up against a subscription wall.
I thank Victor H. Mair for drawing this publication to my attention.
The Kyoto-based Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation — the group behind the Kanji of the Year announcement and which runs Japan’s well-attended kanji aptitude tests — is registered as a public-interest corporation, which means that it is not supposed to generate profits greater than it needs to operate (much like a non-profit organization in the United States). On March 10, however, Japan’s Ministry of Education stepped in, saying that the foundation was making too much money and needed to overhaul its operations.
How much money are we talking about?
The foundation racked up profits of ¥880 million [US$8.8 million] in fiscal 2006 and ¥660 million in fiscal 2007. The value of its assets increased from ¥5 billion at the end of fiscal 2004 to ¥7.35 billion at the end of fiscal 2007. It would not be far-fetched to say that the foundation has created a kanji business. Kanken became a registered trademark. In fiscal 2007 alone, the foundation sold some 1.5 million copies of books. It is also providing kanji-related questions to TV shows.
But there are more problems than just how much of the money the foundation makes. It has been funneling money into companies controlled by the foundation’s director and his son, the deputy director. “In fiscal 2007, commissions to these companies amounted to 2.48 billion yen [US$24.9 million], accounting for about 40 percent of the foundation’s annual expenditures,” the Asahi Shimbun reported.
Moreover, it appears the companies did little work for the large amount of money they received.
The Ministry of Education has warned the foundation before, with not much in the way of results. The foundation is to report back to the ministry by April 15. Given how entrenched the foundation is within Japan, I don’t expect much to change.