外来語. Words brought into Japanese from languages other than Chinese.

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2
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2answers
95 views

Do non-native speakers of English find gairaigo more difficult to learn than native speakers of English?

I've occasionally heard people who aren't native speakers of English complain about gairaigo (words derived from European languages, not words derived from Chinese) being difficult to learn. ...
5
votes
3answers
186 views

Difference between マップ and 地図

What's the difference between the kanji term and the katakana term, and when should I use them? I think that some katakana words are only used when the author is being gratuitous with katakana, but I ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Is ダウンアンダー understood by non-Australian Japanese speakers?

Firstly, is "ダウンアンダー" the correct spelling? I think it is, based on the Japanese Wikipedia articles メン・アット・ワーク and ツアー・ダウンアンダー , but I could be mistaken. But apart from that, is the average ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

Is there a term that covers both wasei eigo and gairaigo?

Is there a term that covers both wasei eigo ("Japanese-made English") and gairaigo (words from foreign languages)? Can you call them カタカナ語?
6
votes
1answer
132 views

Are Japanese speakers likely to confuse “message” and “massage” in English?

I've occasionally noticed native speakers of Japanese using "massage" when they mean "message", but I can't recall native speakers of other languages mistaking the two. As far as I know, both ...
-1
votes
1answer
174 views

What is the katakana of STAR WARS?

スター・ワーズ? Sutaa Waazu? スター・ウォーズ? Sutaa uoozu?
3
votes
1answer
94 views

What is 「ケステンGチンキ」 a reference to?

This word/set of words/whatever it is popped up in something I am reading, and I cannot find any clue as to what it is referencing. The book is a taiko performer's biography, and this is the very last ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

XをYという形に sentence

「俺焼き豚頼んでないですよ」 店主であり違法改造バイク夢五萬のライダーである高田くんのお兄さんは、菜ばしを“サービス”という形に動かした。 "I did not order pork loin." Takada's brother, who is the shop owner and rides an illegally modified motorcycle ...
6
votes
0answers
190 views

Is チェリーボーイ wasei-eigo?

Is the word チェリーボーイ (Eng. "cherry boy", meaning "male virgin") a genuine loanword from English, or is it wasei-eigo? I would have thought it to be a genuine loanword, but the sources cited on ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Trying to think of borrowed English words that parse “ti” as ティ or as チ。 [closed]

I often trip up in guessing the pronunciation of words that have been borrowed into Japanese from English where the original pronunciation had "ti" in it. For example, I might say ネイチブ instead of ...
0
votes
3answers
105 views

Why would Russian хорошо [xoroʂo] be borrowed as ハラショー?

The two first /o/s are borrowed as /a/ in Japanese. I don't understand why the Russian /o/ vowel sounds like /a/ to Japanese speakers instead of /o/ which is a phoneme in Japanese.
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Can the phrase 不条理劇 “a theatre of absurd” be used figuratively in Japanese?

Would it be valid in casual Japanese conversation to use the term 不条理劇{ふじょうりげき} or 不条理演劇{ふじょうりえんげき} to describe a situation in which for example two parties A and B are talking to each other using ...
7
votes
1answer
169 views

Meaning of 変なテンション

What does 変なテンション describe? To my limited understanding, the expression is used by a person who observes a テンション高い person but fails to understand why that person is テンション高い. Am I mistaken? Or is ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Which is more natural? ボディー vs ボディ

Which sentence is more natural? Sentence 1: また、突出部164は、シャフト130と平行にボディ162から延長形成されることができる。 Sentence 2: また、突出部164はシャフト130と平行にボディー162から延長形成されることができる。 Is ボディー a better translation for ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

Can the English suffix “-zilla” be translated back into Japanese?

Can the English suffix -zilla, a backformation from "Godzilla" describing something as large and/or destructive, be translated into Japanese and easily understood, and how would it be translated? As ...
5
votes
1answer
522 views

Are Japanese terms for the United States and the Soviet Union likely to be confused by native speakers of Japanese?

In the comments section of Do the Japanese believe that USSR dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?, it's speculated that Japanese people agreed with a statement that the Soviet Union ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

What is the proper use case for コンペ先?

As I understand the term コンペ先 translates as a "competitor" (edit: from the examples in the answer, I think "contestant" seems more appropriate as there is an unspoken requirement for some contest or ...
0
votes
1answer
228 views

Why importing words from other languages rather than building new ones from existing kanji? [closed]

I would like to know why, in general, new words are imported (from English among other languages) rather that created with respect to the concept/thing they represent. For example, "computer" could ...
4
votes
2answers
169 views

Is アルコール from Portuguese?

The word アルコール is very similar to the Portuguese alcohol (pronounced alcōl), this seems closer than the English アルコホール. So is the real etymology Portuguese rather than English?
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Can キーウィ be used to mean New Zealander?

Outside of Australia and New Zealand, am I likely to be understood by Japanese speakers if I use キーウィ to mean New Zealanders? Based on what weblio and Wiktionary say, I suspect not, but I want to ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Do Japanese actually pronounce the “v” sound?

Do Japanese actually pronounce the "v" sound? They do have a kana character (ヴ) dedicated to transcribing foreign "v" sounds, but do they actually pronounce them like the English phoneme /v/ (using ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Was 蒙古症 or similar words commonly used to refer to Down Syndrome?

The possibility that Japanese used words derived from "Mongoloid" to refer to Down Syndrome hadn't crossed my mind until I was mentioning the word to a Japanese person practicing English, but ...
1
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1answer
164 views

Why is イチゴ written in katakana?

From which language did it come to Japanese? And why does it have its own kanji?
5
votes
1answer
485 views

What is the etymology of イギリス?

I'm trying to figure out where the term イギリス for the United Kingdom came from. I suspect 英国【えいこく】 because they sound similar, but that seems a bit odd as Katakana words are usually loan words.
6
votes
1answer
196 views

Why do the Japanese use loanwords for words that have functional equivalents?

It strikes me, reading Japanese that katakana is often used for words that have functional equivalents in the Japanese language. Why is this? For instance, using ビル as opposed to 建物。 Or ブルー instead ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

Is マスカット an accurate translation for “green grape”, and what foreign word is it derived from?

I'm new to Japanese so I'm working my way through Human Japanese, when I was adding the vocabulary to Quizlet I realized I didn't know how to type マスカット because I'm not used to seeing ツ used like ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Is オージー understood by non-Australian Japanese speakers?

Is the word "オージー" (in the meaning of "Aussie", not as in "old girl" or other meanings) understood by non-Australian Japanese speakers? Also, in English, non-Australians have a tendency to use ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

Is レリゴる likely to be understood, and what does it mean?

Last year, I heard from other English speakers about the katakana verb レリゴる. It's supposed to be a verb related to the movie Frozen (アナと雪の女王). Is the verb generally understood by Japanese speakers? I ...
6
votes
4answers
215 views

Standard for writing/pronouncing loanwords: ウインドー v.s. ウィンドウ, etc

In スーパー大辞林 I found: ウインドー [0] 〖window〗 (1)窓。 (2)ショー-ウインドーの略。陳列窓。 (3)コンピューターのディスプレー画面上で情報の表示されている部分。画面をいくつかの部分に分割し,それぞれに異なった情報を表示する方式をマルチ-ウインドーという。 In Wikipedia I found: Microsoft ...
1
vote
1answer
182 views

What is the most common word used for 'idea'?

Pretty sure I've mostly seen idea as アイデア Does anyone know of other words used for 'idea' and if possible any example sentences and contexts where different words are used?
2
votes
2answers
241 views

Why is Austin spelled with an オ?

Based on the pronunciations here, what I hear in Anime, and the way I hear kana pronounced in Japanese class, it seems to me that Austin should start with ア rather than オ, but it is clearly spelled ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Could ルフレ be considered a gender-neutral name?

In the Fire Emblem: Awakening game, the avatar character — that is, the main character whose name and gender you pick — has a default name. In English, the default name is Robin, because the character ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

What does 「アップしています」 mean?

For example: Youtubeで動画をアップしています。 Does 「アップ」 mean “upload”?
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Is スポーツ a plural-only word?

Typically there is no pluralization in Japanese unless specified. For example: この車【くるま】は綺麗【きれい】。 This car is clean. / These cars are clean. Does スポーツ work in the same way? Considering the ...
5
votes
4answers
305 views

Why do some loanword sounds get “contracted” when katakanized, but not others?

Not sure the best way to word this. Why is it that some sounds from a loanword get combined down to a shorter or different sound while other do not? Here are some examples: Shortened, but sound ...
4
votes
2answers
167 views

Is マラソン always 42.195 km?

ALC translate the Japanese マラソン into the English "marathon", which the English Wikipedia says has an official distance of 42.195 kilometres. Is マラソン always 42.195 km? Or has the Japanese word a ...
4
votes
2answers
422 views

Is “フリーマーケット” sometimes assumed to be derived from “Free”?

Is the term "フリーマーケット" sometimes assumed to be derived from, or meaning, "Free market", as opposed to "Flea market"? (That is, having a false etymology) There is a phrase "Free market" in English, ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Why is Typhoon Neoguri sometimes referred to as “ノグリー”?

Why is Typhoon Neoguri sometimes referred to in Japanese as "ノグリー", and not as "ネオグリー"? The English language Wikipedia's disambiguation page for Typhoon Neoguri mentions that it used to be referred ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the etymology of the word Katsu?

I heard from an English man that the katsu karē (カツカレー) dish was from English inspiration originally: he told me that the word 'katsu' is coming from cutlet and 'karē' would be curry. Please can ...
8
votes
2answers
328 views

Words that have been borrowed twice, with different pronunciations?

We all learn early on that hamburger can be translated into Japanese in two different ways: ハンバーガー meat patty in a bun ハンバーグ just the meat patty (or salisbury steak to be exact) Likewise launder ...
3
votes
2answers
216 views

Why is ホームシック a noun, not a な-adjective?

In class, I was told that ホームシック is a noun, not a な-adjective. ホームシックの時、何をしますか。 By contrast, the closest English word to "ホームシック", which is "homesick", is an adjective. Why is ホームシック a noun? Is it ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why doesn't Japanese have a special Katakana form for “hu”?

They have created many new Katakana words such as ファ フィ ヴァ ヴィ ティ テゥ to write foreign sounds. But why didn't they create a new combination for "hu" such as ハゥ or ホゥ? Instead they use the same kana for ...
5
votes
2answers
231 views

What causes loan words to displace native words for existing concepts?

I've been told several times that things like class and classmate don't have non-loan words (I don't know what those are called) associated with them in Japanese. This seems ludicrous to me, as the ...
5
votes
1answer
263 views

Should I use スタート for “start a new game” or something else?

I want to say, "Are you sure you want to start a new game?" (I'm developing a game for Japanese users, and this question is asked when it finishes.) I'm not sure whether スタート is the correct word to ...
7
votes
1answer
657 views

What does セレブ mean these days?

There appears to be some disagreement/confusion about the precise meaning of セレブ - some dictionaries claim that セレブ means the same thing as English "celebrity", while others claim that it just means ...
6
votes
4answers
214 views

ブラウザ or ブラウザー? Words borrowed from English which end with -er

I noticed that some (most? all?) words that were borrowed from English and end with -er in English can have either short or long vowel at the end: browser - can be ブラウザ or ブラウザー driver - can be ドライバ ...
8
votes
2answers
252 views

What nuance does ガールフレンド have?

Does ガールフレンド have a meaning of a female friend (like girl friend), or a female romantic partner? Someone told me it had the former meaning, and I should use "彼女" for a romantic partner. However, the ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

What does ハイツ mean in building names in Japan?

I've been living in Hokkaido for a while now, and there are plenty of dinky buildings on flat surfaces that have ハイツ stuck on the end of their names. As a native English speaker, few of these are ...
5
votes
1answer
424 views

What do young Japanese mean by セクハラ?

What do Japanese young people exactly mean by 「セクハラ」? Do they think it is negative, or only slightly negative, or not negative? I've often heard Japanese university students throw around the term ...
6
votes
2answers
208 views

What is the origin of ポイ as in “タバコのポイ”?

I was trying to see how much of the writing on the signs in the park I could make sense of today and found something of interest. A sign stating what not to do in the park covered not littering and ...