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 be written as 計算機 (the word exists but is not common), the same would be true for words like "shower", "engine", "orchestra" and many others.
What is even more confusing is that borrowed words may be preferred. The first example that comes to my mind is smooth スムーズ which was formerly 円滑. 円滑 is still used but スムーズ is far more common and it covers a broader range of meanings.
To add to the previous paragraph, while 2-kanji-compound are often very precise in meaning (and it is often useful to check the dictionary of synonym) loaned words tends to have broader meanings.
This question has been nagging at me because the more I learn kanji the more I find them useful, it is easy to parse a sentence with a lot of kanji (as long as particles are not written with man'yougana though) and at the same time since the meaning is somewhat encoded into the kanji it easier to grab the meaning of the whole sentence.
On the other hand, since the borrowed word tend to keep their original pronunciation and form they are written as katakana which is understandable but at the same time it is more difficult to read/parse and the meaning is not encoded in the written form of the word. The use of too much kana tends to make Japanese much like any other language with an alphabet.
I am not advocating that Japanese should borrow words from Chinese (it would nevertheless be a solution), but I am wondering why not like the Chinese creates new words conceptually from existing kanji. (In the first example I gave 計算機 is not the Chinese word for computer which is 電腦 most of the time and 計算機 sometimes.)