|Konnichi wa! Ogenki des ka? No seriously, hello, how are you?
Sadly most North Americans know only a few token Japanese words. Konnichi wa, teriyaki, sushi, anime, hentai (anime porn). But in today's day and age, Japanese language speakers are rapidly becoming more common. Especially in comparison to other asian languages...
For example... there is over 250 students in my Japanese 1000 lecture at York University. In contrast, there is only 40 students in Chinese 1000 and about 15 in Korean 1000. (And yes, I'm in all 3 courses.)
When you consider that China has a population of 1.4 billion, you'd think Chinese would be more popular and important... but its not. Japanese is more popular. The how's and why's is directly related to the popularity of Japanese Anime, and also a stereotype that learning Chinese is hard (which it isn't).
Nevertheless, thats only one university. And I should note that the Japanese program is so popular that its difficult to get into the course and there is definitely room to expand and hire more faculty and have more classes. Its so popular that the lectures are broadcasted online (you can download them for free here) and it is also broadcasted live to another classroom at Glendon.
My younger sister is also in the Japanese 1000 class. She LOVES anime. She loves anime so much she has a card catalogue to help organize her anime collection. She also likes Yaoi (gay hentai). Don't ask me why, its a girl thing. Apparently Yaoi is more popular with women than it is with men.
I like anime as well, but not as much as my sister. Still it is good for me to have someone whom I can speak Japanese to regularly. You can just imagine what our parents think we start talking Japanese together at family gatherings. Proud I suppose? But maybe a bit suspicious because its like we have our own secret "evil" language now (mwahahaha!). Ahem...
With the popularity of anime now, imagine how popular anime and Japanese will be 20 years from now?
Especially with current economic trends that suggest Japanese and Chinese will be the leading economic languages of the future.
And so yes, we are turning Japanese. Before you know it we will all be talking like the characters from South Park in the episode where they became fanatically about an anime cartoon and all learned Japanese and nearly overthrew the U.S. government...
Strange how cartoons often imitate real life and predict strange events. Not that the Japanese are planning to overthrow the U.S. government. They don't need to. The United States is going down the toilet anyway and will be a 2nd world country in 20 years.
So long english. English is a crappy language anyway. Most of its native speakers can't even spell.