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

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2
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2answers
209 views

Why are some loanwords written in kanji in certain manga?

In One Piece for example I've noticed that the word "Log Pose" is written as 記録指針{ログポーズ}. Another example, also found in One Piece, is the word "Poneglyph", written as 歴史{ポーネ}の本文{グリフ}. Why do words ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

How to pronounce the English alphabet? (A, B, C, …)

I just had to tell a long booking number over the phone, and realized that some characters like V/B can be hard to convey. So, I want to learn exactly how each letter is currently taught in Japanese ...
2
votes
3answers
140 views

Is the word Canon キヤノン (camera brand) related with キャメラ?

I am not sure whether it is on-topic here, but the following question was asked on English Language and Usage. What does the word “Canon” (the digicam brand) mean? I searched the word and its ...
4
votes
2answers
111 views

Sprachgefühl corresponding word in Japanese

I am looking for a one-word, or maybe a two-word comparable word Sprachgefühl/Sprachgefuhl in Japanese. According to this: Sprachgefühl 言葉が持つ本来の語法に対する直感的な感覚. Meaning: an intuitive feeling for ...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

What is nuance of using 外来語 for simple nouns?

I've been wondering lately about the usage of 外来語 that seem especially redundant, such as ドライバー instead of ねじ回し, ヘア instead of 毛, or マップ instead of 地図. I understand many of the purposes of 外来語 when a ...
8
votes
3answers
257 views

Do native Japanese speakers confuse “オーストリア” and “オーストラリア”

Native English speakers sometimes mix up Austria and Australia (example). Do native Japanese speakers sometimes mix up "オーストリア" and "オーストラリア"?
4
votes
1answer
360 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?
10
votes
1answer
114 views

Has the meaning of “revenge” been lost in translation to リベンジ?

I can see リベンジ used often in internal business communication for "2nd attempt" (like リベンジ判定会議 or リベンジ提案). Wikipedia also suggests it bears the meaning of 「再挑戦」の意味でも使われる。 Would it be acceptable to use ...
5
votes
3answers
142 views

Etymology of names of playing cards?

According to the Japanese wikipedia, the playing cards ("trump") are named as follows (written in Japanese in katakana): A: Ace 2: Deuce 3: torei 4: keito 5: shinku 6: saisu 7: Seven 8: Eight ...
12
votes
3answers
254 views

Why is this katakana not reversed?

Just saw this image about Nintendo on Kotaku: Clearly the company name, description, and location are written in traditional right-to-left orientation. Even かるた is right-to-left. So why is トランプ ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any old loanwords from Korean, especially any not written in katakana?

Given the close proximity and long history of interaction of various kinds within East Asia, the great influence of Chinese in both Japanese and Korean, and the similar structures of Japanese and ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

What does かみつれ mean?

I'm trying to figure out what "かみつれを手に". The word かみつれ is in hiragana, so I can't use kanji to figure it out. I have a feeling it means "( something ) in hand". I searched in Google, and ...
1
vote
2answers
163 views

Is なんとか なる さ meant to be written in Hiragana and not Katakana?

Good day, I have tattooed the words "nantoka naru sa" in Kana on my right arm and a while ago I was reading some Japanese lessons where it explains that Katakana is used only when you're translating a ...
12
votes
5answers
625 views

Less-approximate and more-approximate forms of loan words

When Japanese incorporates a Western word, especially English, often the spelling rather than the pronunciation is respected in the transcription, thus, ending up with a transcription that is not the ...
9
votes
2answers
375 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
334 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
110 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
210 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
139 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 non-...
5
votes
1answer
117 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
151 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 "massage"...
-1
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1answer
451 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?
2
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1answer
122 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 "...
3
votes
1answer
99 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
155 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
80 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
176 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?
0
votes
3answers
119 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.
4
votes
2answers
169 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
218 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
91 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 Body?...
3
votes
3answers
281 views

Is there a non-katakana word for “cash flow”?

If you look up "cash flow" in most dictionaries, it seems the concept is expressed in katakana, キャッシュフロー. However, I was speaking with a Japanese person earlier, and the term was not immediately ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
236 views

しゅうと/シュート - The great equalizer

I was watching the movie Mr. Baseball the other day. Several times during the movie they talk about しゅうと which they describe as "the great equalizer". (Could possibly be しゅうとう, but their dialog does ...
11
votes
1answer
251 views

question about kanji sports names 蹴球, 籠球, 庭球, and 野球

A few questions about these words. The words [蹴球]{しゅうきゅう}, [籠球]{ろうきゅう}, and [庭球]{ていきゅう} mean football, basketball, and tennis, respectively. But I have only seen them in a dictionary, and in practice ...
4
votes
1answer
140 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
1answer
236 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
604 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
76 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
262 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 ...
6
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3answers
3k 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
1answer
144 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
450 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 「...
8
votes
2answers
5k 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
201 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 jisho....
10
votes
2answers
429 views

Is ありす a traditional girl's name?

Is ありす, or a name pronounced the same as "ありす", a traditional feminine given name? (If I have to define traditional, then pre-dating the end of the Sakoku policy) I've heard about parents naming ...
1
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1answer
212 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
509 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
232 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
225 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 that....