The mainstream of the teaching of English in Japan is yakudoku. In
this method, English is first translated into Japanese word- by-word,
and then the resulting translation is reordered to match Japanese word
order. In Japan, the learning of the yakudoku technique is often
identified with the goal of studying English itself. In fact, yakudoku is
a deeply rooted sociolinguistic tradition in Japan, which dates back
over a thousand years to when the Japanese started to study Chinese.
This paper examines the nature of yakudoku by investigating how it
has continued to be used in foreign langauge learning in Japan. The
implication of the yakudoku tradition for the teaching of English
today is also discussed.