Most of the time, I can guess correctly how to write an english Gairaigo word in katakana. When I am mistaken, I understand the correct writing and learn from it. Some feel a bit odd, but with time I get used to it. I find it very interesting how the english sounds are twisted to fit in the japanese style.
But this one got me puzzled. For the word "boyfriend", the transliteration of choice is ボーイフレンド, which feels very awkward for me. I was expecting ボイフレンド instead, but that gets only 34 thousand hits on Google Japanese, while the former has about 8 million hits.
As a comparison, I am fine with the long vowels in the following examples:
- Girl: ガール
- Answer: アンサー
- Ball: ボール
- Party: パーティー
- Elevator: エレベーター
My question is, is it just my intuition that is wrong, or is there something else behind this? Maybe some sort of linguistic phenomenon such as Metathesis or Malapropism? Maybe someone misspelled it at the first time and people ended up using it anyway?
If it is just my intuition that is wrong, that would totally be a valid answer, although quite embarassing... I am expecting something else for this specific word because it seems weirder than usual. By the way, English is not my first language (nor Japanese, of course).