I initially expected 'appstore' to be アップストア

I don't see why it's translated as 'apuri-store'

  • 4
    appuri = loaned word from English "application"
    – 4chan user
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 2:24

2 Answers 2


The word application in Japanese is 「アプリケーション」. The shortened form (akin to app) is 「アプリ」, rather than just 「アップ」 as one might expect coming from English.

Therefore the word for app store is, as you'd expect, the word for app (アプリ) + store (ストア): アプリストア

  • 9
    This may be related to the fact that Japanese has fewer vowels. アップ has always meant "up" rather than "app". While 'app store' as a generic noun is アプリストア, App Store as the name of a service by Apple is called アップストア in Japanese, too (it's a brand name, after all).
    – naruto
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 0:47
  • @naruto also, Japanese loves its three-syllable abbreviations: パソコン, ファミコン, コンビニ, and so on.
    – N. Virgo
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 2:18
  • 3
    @N.Virgo, it's more four-mora abbreviations, rather than three-syllable. Consider also 高等学校【こうとうがっこう】→高校【こうこう】. Or more specifically, two-part abbreviations, taking a chunk from the two constituent terms. Consider アメリカンショートヘア → アメショ, ソビエト連邦【れんぽう】→ソ連【れん】, 自己株式【じこかぶしき】→自株【じかぶ】, etc. Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 5:17
  • @naruto they have the "same" five vowels, it just so happens that both the u in "up" and the a in "app" have アas the closest equivalent. Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 11:47
  • 6
    @JordiVermeulen vowels are sounds; "they" have 5, and 5 characters to represent them, we have 20+ vowels, with 5 dedicated characters (that can represent several different vowels, with overlaps) and 2 semi-vowels. Even though Japanese vowels can all be represented pretty closely in English, they aren't all exact either. Consider the pronunciation of the name of the letter O (oʊ) vs the pronunciation of (o)
    – briantist
    Commented Aug 5, 2022 at 22:19

From what I can tell it's actually called the "App Store" in English letters, where they sell アプリ.

As for the reason they prefer アプリ...

Japanese like to shorten foreign borrowed words if they are longer than 3 or 4 sounds because unlike English, there is no good way to blend nicely like in English...you have to clearly say each.

Saying most foreign-derived words out in this long form becomes very cumbersome.

Another example would be バイト (ba-ee-to) shortened from アルバイト (ah-ru-ba-ee-toe) meaning part-time work which is derived from the German word "Arbeit" meaning work or job.

The word "application" in Japanese is

アプリケーションソフトウェア or just アプリケーション

which you would say ah-pu-ri-ke(long)-shon

The abbreviated version アプリ has been around a lot longer than the the word "app" has been used in English, probably since the first commercial software began to be sold in Japan in the 70's. Most commonly refering to desktop software or business software.

When the word "app" became popular after smartphones arrived, the Japanese already beat English to the "let's make that darn word shorter and cooler" punch... :)

They also use アプー (ap-pu) as well, to refer to just mobile apps. However the app store has both Apple desktop and mobile software...so I guess since アプリー is already so close to アプー there's no use in renaming all forms of software to newer "app".

That's my best guess....

There could also be some copyright reasons that I 'm not aware of!

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .