[Ads-l] Englishnization

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 3 14:16:30 UTC 2017

Saw this this weekend:


On March 1, 2010, Hiroshi Mikitani, the chief executive of Japanese
e-commerce giant Rakuten, used a video link to address a meeting of the
company’s 10,000 employees world-wide. Speaking in English, he announced
that Rakuten henceforth would be an English-only organization. In two
years’ time, he said, every interaction, spoken and written, would be
conducted in English—even among the 7,100 workers whose first and often
only language was Japanese.

“Our goal is to catch up with the global market,” Mr. Mikitani said. He
explained that a common language was the only way to share business
knowledge quickly and effectively across Rakuten’s international
operations. “Englishnization”—a term he coined—was an essential aspect of
the company’s growth strategy, he said. The CEO further announced a
draconian measure to enforce his new mandate: Employees who did not, within
two years, score above 650 on the 990-point Test of English for
International Communication would face demotion or dismissal.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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