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?

  • 2
    – Chocolate
    Dec 19 '15 at 6:34
  • 3
    @choco Would you consider posting that as an answer? :-)
    – user1478
    Dec 19 '15 at 9:16


外来語とは、日本語における借用語のうち、漢語とそれ以前の借用語を除いたものである。おもに西洋諸言語からの借用であり、 洋語とも呼ばれる。また、カタカナで表記することが多いことからカタカナ語 、横書きで表記する言葉として日本に入ってきたことから横文字とも呼ばれる。




First, wasei eigo should be viewed as a subcategory of eigo-gairaigo, i.e. gairaigo derived from English.

So, the pattern should look as follows

  • wasei eigoeigo-gairaigogairaigo

Gairaigo are words taken from foreign languages in general, and eigo-gairaigo are words derived from English; lastly wasei eigo is literally English made in Japan (i.e. words created in Japanese resembling English words).

Both wasei eigo and gairaigo have their specific usages. Maybe you could refer to both of them as "katakana-eigo", since both use the katakana script and both are mainly taken from English. (Check Miller, 1997: 124)

More generally, there is a term called wasei gairaigo (Miller, 1997: 127). It is Japanese made from words in other languages (not necessarily only English). For example テーマソング, where テーマ comes from Dutch Thema and ソング from English song.

  • 1
    Hello and welcome. I found parts of your post difficult to understand, so I partly rewrote it. You can edit the post to rollback the changes if I misunderstood anything.
    – Earthliŋ
    Apr 7 '21 at 16:49
  • 1
    Thank you for correcting my grammar, and your words are the same as I want to talk about. I am not native English and my grammar is not that good, but I am now doing research about wasei eigo and I have urged to answer this question with all my knowledge about wasei eigo things.
    – Kisyuune
    Apr 7 '21 at 17:45

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.