It would lose it's charm and attraction, but perhaps would be so much more simpler if we here in the US just used English.
On the other hand, think how dull Aikiweb
would become, without all the discussion about the 'real' meaning of the Japanese terms used: what is the role of a sempai
in a dojo, or whether Sensei
really means 'teacher'.
I had a discussion with Yamada Yoshimitsu Shihan in Tokyo recently. I do not think I am breaking any confidences when I state that the recent loss of two of his friends was a big wrench for him. Someone he could pick up the phone and talk to, whenever he felt like it, was no longer around to listen and respond. We were speaking in English, but he referred to Nobuyoshi Tamura as his sempai
. Of course, I knew exactly what he meant, but I think this is because I have lived here for such a long time and have encountered the word in its original context so many times.
But language is a living thing and cannot really be bound by rules. Of course, every language has semantics, syntax and phonology, which help to determine the degree to which someone is talking sense or nonsense. But, what is sometimes overlooked is that virtually every language borrows from, steals from, and donates to, other languages. So it might be that sempai
is being anglicized in US English, to an extent not found elsewhere.