Many Japanese words are used in other languages, sushi, anime, karaoke, tsunami.... Is there a term to identify these words? I am familiar with terms such as 外来語 to indicate loanwords borrowed from other languages. What term would be used to indicate words borrowed from Japanese?


2 Answers 2


I do not know of a monolectic term for that though there might exist one.

The polylectic term that should be understood by virtually all adult native Japanese speakers would be 「日本語{にほんご}からの借用語{しゃくようご}」.

By inserting 「[language name] + における」 in front of the term above, you can safely and unambiguously say "word(s) borrowed from Japanese (used in [language name])". Thus, you can say:


「スワヒリ語における日本語からの借用語」, etc.

  • 1
    おおおおひさ! Welcome back! :D
    – chocolate
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 14:11

As said in l’électeur’s answer, it’s far more likely that you’d use some longer phrase to describe such a word.

However, it seems like there is some currency for the term 「外行語{がいこうご}」, born as a reversal of 外来語. It doesn’t show up as in option in my kanji completion list, and its usage seems fairly minimal, but it is intuitive enough (written, not so much verbally) and does seem to get used occasionally.

  • I was thinking this way too.
    – Jack Bosma
    Commented Oct 2, 2019 at 14:14

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