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2009年7月11日 (土)

「黒船」グーグル、揺らぐ日本語

(Mainichi Japan) July 10, 2009
Irate Japanese authors see Google Book Search as 'black ships' of digital era
アメリカよ・新ニッポン論:第4部・受容の終わり/9止 「黒船」グーグル…

 ◆「黒船」グーグル、揺らぐ日本語

 ◇「開国」新たな可能性

The Author's Guild, a U.S.-based organization of published authors, along with the Association of American Publishers, held a briefing session on May 27 in Tokyo for Japanese writers' organizations regarding Google Book Search.
The new tool developed by Internet search engine giant Google allows entire texts of books from all over the world to be accessed from its database. But not everyone sees the development in a positive light.
Scowls were seen on the faces of Japanese writers in attendance. "The U.S. is forcing its view of what is good on the rest of the world," one participant said. "It's the same way the Iraq War was carried out."
 「何が良いことかを勝手に決めて世界中に押し付けている。イラク戦争のやり方と同じだ」。日本側の出席者は顔をしかめた。 インターネット検索サービス最大手の米グーグルが、世界中の書籍をデジタル化する「グーグルブック検索」。米国作家協会と全米出版社協会が5月27日、東京都内で日本の作家団体向けに説明会を開いた。

Yashio Uemura, a member of the Japan P.E.N. Club's freedom of speech committee, argued that Japan and Europe have their own unique cultures, but that at this rate, "American standards will become the global standard, even in the realm of language and knowledge." American representatives at the meeting countered by repeating, "This is in Japan's best interests, too." To that end, the two sides failed to see eye to eye.
 植村八潮・日本ペンクラブ言論表現委員は「日本には日本の、欧州には欧州の固有の文化がある。言葉や知識の世界でも米国ルールが世界標準になってしまう」と訴えたが、米側は「日本にとっても最善の計画だ」と繰り返すばかり。議論は平行線に終始した。

Books written in English have an overwhelming advantage in receiving high rankings under search criteria set by a U.S. company. There are widespread concerns that just by being written in Japanese, books will be ranked lower than English-language ones regardless of their topic or quality.
 米企業の検索基準で上位に並ぶのは、英語の本が圧倒的に有利だ。日本語で書かれているだけで、テーマや質を問わず英語の書籍より下位に置かれてしまうとの懸念が広がっている。

Will Japanese eventually be destroyed by the English language? "People are only free to come and go into the 'libraries' of the languages in which they are able to read," warns Minae Mizumura, a Japanese writer who moved to the U.S. at the age of 12. She has taught at American universities and has published novels that interweave Japanese and English. Her nonfiction book "Nihongo ga horobiru toki -- eigo no seiki no naka de" (The Fall of the Japanese Language in the Age of English) is a bestseller.
 いずれ日本語は、英語に駆逐されるのか。12歳で渡米し、米国の大学で教え、日本語・英語交じりの小説も出している作家、水村美苗氏のベストセラー「日本語が亡(ほろ)びるとき」は、「人は、自分が読める言葉の<図書館>にしか出入りできない」と警鐘を鳴らす。

The arrival of the "black ships" of the digital era has sent shockwaves through Japan. Not unlike the debates that took place from the late Edo to the early Meiji periods, on one hand, there are the "expulsionists" who argue that the national government should ban such an "invasion," and on the other hand are those who support the "opening of the country."
 デジタル時代の黒船に、日本語が揺れている。「国が禁止すべきだ」と主張する「攘夷(じょうい)派」がいる一方、この際、ネット社会に日本語も打って出るべきだとする「開国派」もいる。

Makoto Nagao, director of the National Diet Library, takes a pro-Google position, saying, "I can respect Google's ideal of allowing universal access to cultures all over the world." In response to arguments that the new service will force publishers and bookstores out of business, he proposes a set-up that would funnel part of the access fee paid by Google Book viewers to book publishers. "Providing such a service to the whole world can help the Japanese language to grow," he says, emphasizing an aggressive approach.
 国立国会図書館の長尾真館長は「世界の文化を万人が利用できるようにしようというグーグルの理想は尊敬できる」との立場だ。
 「出版社や本屋がつぶれる」という反対論には、利用者からのアクセス料を出版社にも還元する仕組みを私案として提唱している。「世界中にサービスすることで日本語を成長させられる」と「攻め」の姿勢を強調する。

The Internet, which transcends national boundaries, and the English language, which is understood all over the world, have boosted both their convenience and force, and are now deeply embedded in our everyday lives. Today, these two powers come together in an attempt to subsume the backbone of various cultures -- which equates books with national language -- into an American system. If we are to enjoy the convenience that results from such developments, it will be difficult to turn our backs to a U.S.-made global standard. What is being sought now in the Japanese language is a will and ingenuity to secure a place for itself.
 国の壁を超えるネット。世界中で通じる英語。どちらも利便性と同時に強制力を増幅しながら、すでに私たちの日常に深く浸透している。二つのパワーが合わさって、書籍=国語という各国文化の背骨を米国流のシステムに取り込もうとしている今、その利便性を享受するなら、米国が作る世界標準に背を向けることは難しい。日本語は自らの居場所を確保する意思と工夫を求められている。

Take for example, "Aozora Bunko" (Open-air library), an on-line service featuring Japanese fiction and critical essays that have been digitalized by volunteers. "The Internet, from the very start, was based on U.S. standards," says Aozora's founder, Michio Tomita. "I reap the benefits of the English language's convenience. But at the same time, I want to establish a secure footing within the Internet for the Japanese cultural sphere that made me who I am. That's what I'm working hard toward."
 例えば97年から、ボランティアで日本語の小説や評論をデジタル化し、ネット上で公開している「青空文庫」の取り組み。呼びかけ人の富田倫生氏は「ネットは元々米国基準。英語の利便性も自分は享受している。一方で、自分を形成した日本語文化圏の地歩をネット社会でも確保したい。だから努力する」と言う。

In addition, Aozora Bunko has contributed to the development of the Shift JIS (SJIS) Japanese character encoding system. It has also been engaged in the distribution of DVD compilations of Japanese works overseas, sending DVDs to over 25 universities, libraries, and institutions involved in Japanese language instruction in 10 countries including the U.S., Britain, France and China. Efforts to make sure that the books one wants to read survive through the Internet age leads, in fact, to the protection of the culture that nurtured individuals.
 青空文庫は日本語をコンピューター上で表示するためのJIS漢字コード作りにも貢献。日本語作品を収録したDVDを海外に送る活動も進め、米、英、仏、中など10カ国、25以上の大学、図書館、日本語教育施設に送った。自分が読みたい本をネット時代に残す努力は、自分をはぐくんだ文化を守ることにもつながる。

Toru Nishigaki, a professor of information studies at the University of Tokyo weighs in on the debate. "Americans, even as they try to spread a universalism that is based on the English language, are lacking in the awareness that this is indeed what they are doing," he says. "In Japan, on the other hand, people have always split into the nationalist and reformist factions, ever since the Meiji Restoration. It is important to open up an alternative vision of Internet society that allows for the mutual respect of various cultures and languages, and for Japan and other non-English speaking regions to propose such an effort."
 西垣通・東大教授(情報学)は「米国人は英語という一言語に基づいて普遍主義を広めようとしながら、その自覚は薄い。一方で日本は明治維新の時から、すぐに国粋派と推進派に分裂する。大切なのは、日本など非英語圏の提起で、多様な文化や言語を尊重し合える第三の道をネット社会に開くことだ」と話す。

When the U.S. tries to spread a singular ideal and standard throughout the rest of the world, the specific circumstances of other countries are barely taken into account. Japan faced off with the U.S. in the pre-war era, but also enjoyed the fruits of American culture and grew prosperous under the protection of the same U.S. during the Cold War. Today, 20 years after the end of the Cold War, a new relationship is needed characterized neither by confrontation nor subordination.
 米国が単一の理想と基準を世界に押し広げる時、相手国の事情はほとんど顧慮しない。その米国と対決したのが戦前の日本なら、冷戦期の日本はその米国に守られ、米国文化を享受して豊かになった。冷戦終結から20年。対決でも従属でもない、新しい向き合い方が問われている。=おわり

毎日新聞 2009年7月2日 東京朝刊

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