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Department of

Languages and Literatures

Akira Takahashi

Lecturer, Japanese

Professor Takahashi teaches elementary and intermediate Japanese at USD and also runs a small, private school in San Diego.  Since 2003, he has volunteered to teach Japanese at a high school in Mongolia for one month every summer. He does this because he believes that a sound education is necessary to prepare Mongolia's future leaders. Studying abroad is an enrichment opportunity that most cannot afford, however, about 100 of these students have been able to study at universities in both Japan and the U.S. with the help of scholarships awarded to them by the schools.


M.A., San Diego State University, Education (Cross Cultural)
B.A., Hosei University (Japan), Literature (Oriental History)

Teaching Interests

Professor Takahashi is interested in the communication styles of different languages (based on different word orders). Japanese, Korean and Mongolian languages have same basic word order (subject - object - verb) while English and most other European languages have a different word order (subject - veb - object). So, for example, the Japanese "indirect communication style" and the English "direct communication style" are quite different. Language is part of culture and way of thinking of a people. Through teaching Japanese he tries to help his students identify the uniqueness of each language communication style and the richness of each culture.