ESP Biography

EVAN KRATZER, Stanford First-Year Law Student

Major: Law School

College/Employer: Stanford

Year of Graduation: 2020

Picture of Evan Kratzer

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Evan Kratzer is a first-year student at Stanford Law School. He previously worked as a lecturer in English and International Studies at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, the premier Chinese university for the training of diplomats. He graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in Public and International Affairs, where he studied Japanese and Chinese. He has also studied Spanish and Latin.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

H6288: Linguistic Archaeology: Uncovering Japan through Language in Splash Spring 2018 (May. 05 - 06, 2018)
92 symbols, 2200 characters, and 4400 pronunciations. That’s about the bare minimum any native Japanese speaker knows. Japanese is notoriously difficult to learn, and its writing system is understood to be one of the most complex in the world. But it is this complexity that makes Japanese flexible in a distinct way compared to its linguistic cousins. Why does Japanese use both alphabets (like Korean) and logographs (like Chinese)? How are new words introduced? And how can we use that to understand Japanese culture? Using the Japanese language as a unique lens, we will explore the role of language as both a symbol of power and a living part of history. We will take a journey through time, hunting down idiosyncrasies of the Japanese language and how they came to be. We will conclude with interesting (and tasty!) real-life examples of Japanese words that have evolved through time and cultures, extending even beyond the Japanese language. Familiarity with basic Japanese and/or Chinese helpful, but no prior experience needed.