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How would you express the concept of "sphere" or "world" in Japanese? For example, "Anglosphere" or "Indian speaking world". Is there a repeating pattern or suffix for this purpose, or are there just specific words for these terms?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

The most common word and character associated for this kind of usage is [圏]{けん}.

Anglosphere would be [英語圏]{えいごけん}, and a common term to refer to the East Asian cultural sphere is [漢字文化圏]{かんじぶんかけん} which encompasses China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.

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There is also the word [分野]{ぶん・や} that means field/realm/sphere.

Some examples

  • 研究分野 → field of research
  • 彼は物理学の分野でよく知られている → He is well-known in the field of physics
  • 彼は彫刻の分野では第一人者だ → He is second to none in the world of sculpture.

Also the suffix 〜[界]{かい}.

  • 政界 → the political world
  • 芸能界 → the entertainment world; show businesses
  • 業界 → the business world

Examples taken from プログレッシブ英和・和英中辞典 and ウィズダム英和辞典.

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Thanks for the additional info. Very useful :) – strawberry jam Jan 29 at 17:29

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