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A native speaker of Japanese has asked if ゴールデンウィーク is wasei eigo.

The Wikipedia article on Golden Week in Japan claims that the term was created in 1951.

However, a google ngram search for English indicates that the combination "golden week" (and possibly "Golden Week") gets some hits before 1951.

I was also confused by the fact that China also has a Golden Week, but that seems to have been created fairly recently.

Is the term ゴールデンウィーク wasei eigo?

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英語の先生が「"ゴールデンウィーク"はアメリカでは通じない」って言っていましたけど・・・通じるんですか? –  Choko May 4 '13 at 16:18

1 Answer 1

Do you think it reasonable that it was a fixed English expression, referring to consecutive public holidays, which has fallen out of use after the Japanese picked up the term from English?

I think "golden week" is perfectly good English and makes some sense when one understands "golden" to be a synonym for "happy, prosperous, peaceful" (e.g. The Free Dictionary), like in "golden days" or "golden age".

The association with consecutive public holidays (and the capitalisation of "golden week") may be 和製 (Since 1951), but in my opinion that does not mean the phrase "Golden Week" should be considered 和製英語. (The Ngram you link to would support this interpretation.)

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