8

Is there a term that describes multiple foreign words sharing the same Japanese-language loanword?

For example, Wikipedia's disambiguation page for フォーク (Romaji: foku) covers both the English word "fork" and the English word "folk", because Japanese-speakers don't have "r" and "l" different.

6

The term you're looking for could be "homonym". Or perhaps it could be a "homophone" - words that share the same pronunciation but different in meaning. The term for this in Japanese should be 同音異議語 (どうおんいぎご)

  • But in Japanese フォーク (fork) and フォーク (folk) would have the same pronunciation, no? Therefore, wouldn't it be a homophone? Same pronunciation, but different meaning? – phirru Aug 9 '11 at 5:46
  • @phirru You're right, for some reason I pronounced them using the English pronunciation for each case instead of the Japanese sound. Will fix it thanks. – Flaw Aug 9 '11 at 5:51
  • Well フォーク (fork) and フォーク (folk) are also homographs since they are also written the same (unlike say "bow" and "bough" in English). So in this case I would use homonym which covers either and both. – hippietrail Aug 9 '11 at 8:56
  • I think the question is asking about the set of words collected from (possibly different) foreign languages that are the origins of a homonym in Japanese. It is not asking how to say the Japanese word. – user458 Aug 9 '11 at 14:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.