Most Japanese pre-service students have struggled to teach their pupils economic terms in social studies classes. We named their difficulties ”the Tower of Babel” problems in teacher education and divided them into four categories: mismatches in translation, gaps between everyday language and academic terms, hidden connotations in the use of linguistic signs, and misidentifications in using a metonym or a metaphor. Little research has explicitly examined the present statuses of these failures among pre-service students. In this study, we present the findings of a survey that focused on the four categories as they relate to economic terms in social studies. Our survey pool consisted of students at four Japanese universities majoring in education, economics, and the humanities who were trying to obtain teaching certificates in social studies (N=385). The main result of the survey was that students who studied more subjects related to social science and spent more time reading books and newspapers are more likely to have a high correct answer rate; moreover, this was found to be the most evident for terms such as "utilitarianism", "information asymmetry", and “moral hazard”, but not on “gap” and “efficiency”. In addition, significant correlation was found between the four categories. This finding advances new teaching strategy developments that focus on the four categories and identify those subjects that pre-service students for social studies need to study.