Eleanor Jorden with her husband, William J. Jorden, and the couple's son, W. Temple, in Berlin in 1956

Eleanor Harz Jorden (1920 – February 18, 2009) was an American linguistics scholar and an influential Japanese language educator and expert. Born Eleanor Harz, she married William Jorden, reporter and diplomat; the marriage ended in divorce.[1]

Jorden earned her Ph.D. at Yale University under the direction of Bernard Bloch in 1950.[2] She was best known for her seminal textbooks on the Japanese language, including Beginning Japanese and Japanese: The Spoken Language. The latter text included Jorden's JSL system of rōmaji for transcribing Japanese into Roman script. Her explanations of the subtleties of Japanese grammar and usage are still widely referenced today.

Jorden taught Japanese at many educational institutions, including Cornell University, Bryn Mawr College, Johns Hopkins University, Williams College, the University of Hawaii, International Christian University in Tokyo and Ohio State University. For many years, Jorden also served as Chairman of the Department of East Asian Languages at the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute (FSI).

Jorden also founded several programs, including the intensive FALCON Program at Cornell University and the Foreign Service Institute Japanese Language School in Tokyo, Japan.


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Selected bibliography


  1. ^ Fox, Maralit. "William J. Jorden, Reporter and Envoy, Dies at 85", New York Times. February 28, 2009.
  2. ^ J. Marshall Unger, Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan (Oxford University Press US, 1996: ISBN 978-0-19-510166-9), p. 100.
  3. ^ a b c National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs (NASILP), Eleanor Jorden Archived 2010-09-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c d "Eleanor 'Mudd' Harz Jorden Dies at 88," Vineyard Gazette. March 6, 2009.