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Questions tagged [loanwords]

外来語. Words brought into Japanese from languages other than Chinese.

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"Ka no taikoku shin" = China? [Rurouni Kenshin Live Action]

The Rurouni Kenshin Live Action movie (2012) is set in 1878 Tokyo Japan. In it, a high-ranking general (Yamagata) talks about how opium (アヘン) (which is spreading through japan) might destroy Japan as ...
chausies's user avatar
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Etymology of ダンボール

This question has been on my mind for quite a while. The fact that ダンボール (corrugated cardboard) is written in katakana infers that it's a 外来語. However, it can also be written as 段ボール, and I have no ...
Evelyn's user avatar
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What's a prototypical example of モラハラ (moral harassment)?

I'm not exactly sure what モラハラ is. All I can tell is that it's strongly associated with workplace bullying. But I don't really understand how "moral harassment" might be a thing. Is it kind ...
chausies's user avatar
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"デウス" = Jesus, instead of "イエス"?

In the recent show Shogun (S01EP02), set in the early 1600s, an Englishman explains to a Japanese lord that there a two different sects of Christianity (Protestant and Catholic) that are essentially ...
chausies's user avatar
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Are there standards for transliteration into Japanese?

There seem to be some inconsistencies, for example, "t" becomes "tsu" in スーツケース, but "to" in メトロ. "eer" becomes "iiru" in ビール, but it seems like in ...
escargot agile's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
195 views

Why can 尸魂界 be read as ソウル・ソサエティ "Soul Society"? Are there other words that can have a different loan word reading?

I am watching the anime "Bleach" with Japanese audio, and I hear them talk about something in the story called the Soul Society. When I look at the transcript, I see, that 尸魂界 is used. ...
Christopher Pagan's user avatar
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If 米 can be used to refer to America as a country (USA), can it also refer to America as a continent?

I am currently studying this Kanji. In addition to the original meaning of rice, it also has other meanings of meter (SI unit of length) and America. In English and my mother tongue Indonesian, "...
mawgumelar's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
173 views

What does "B.D." mean here? (Birdie Wing)

In Birdie Wing, Eve is being led blindfolded to a golf match that she has to do to settle a mafia dispute. While being explained this absurd premise, she says something in Japanese which is translated ...
chausies's user avatar
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"B" meaning "hot and heavy"?

In Maison Ikkoku, the title of episode 60 is "見ちゃった!響子{きょうこ}と三鷹{みたか}がいきなりB?!", which is translated to "Caught in the Act! Kyoko and Mitaka-Hot and Heavy!" My question is, what is &...
chausies's user avatar
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What term is used for different types of smoking (e-cigs, vapes, cigars)?

If someone wants to smoke a cigarette in your presence, they might ask "タバコいいっすか?". I've also heard it referred to as 煙 (kemuri). I'd imagine those terms work for cigars as well (however ...
chausies's user avatar
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Why isn't there an actual Japanese word for "balcony"?

The Japanese word for "balcony" is a loanword of veranda - ベランダ (Beranda). Veranda is a Anglo-Indian word from Hindi varanda which came from Portuguese varanda and is extensively used in ...
Shadow's user avatar
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When to use ンネ vs ッネ?

For example, why the correct spelling is トンネル rather than トッネル ? Is it an arbitrary/historical choice, or is there a rule that explains it? Would the pronunciation differ? This wiki page says that ッ &...
user1079505's user avatar
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4k views

Why does 'アプリストア’ mean appstore?

I initially expected 'appstore' to be アップストア I don't see why it's translated as 'apuri-store'
phoenixWright's user avatar
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Does フェミニスト mean something like "womanizer"?

Does フェミニスト mean something like "womanizer"? Wiktionary says: (dated, colloquial) a chivalrous man Vice reports that someone on Reddit said: One Reddit commenter suggested that the text ...
Malady's user avatar
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Can the "&"-symbol (ampersand) be used in Japanese to connect two language names?

For example, is this correct and commonly understood by Japanese-readers: "日本語 & 英語" which should represent "Japanese & English" and denote a bilingual edition of a ...
oystersauce's user avatar
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799 views

Meaning of ローンボーイ

From the visual novel Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, 圭一 「おいおいおいおい! 本人不在で勝手に話を進めるなー! 俺は孤独と静寂を愛するロンリーガイだぜー?」 魅音 「あっはははははっは!! だぁれがロンリーガイだー!」 魅音 ローンボーイの間違いでしょー? くっくっくっく!」 レナ 「はぅ~、ローンって圭一くん…。 お金に困ってるなら協力するよ…...
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ト and ツ in English loanwords

When it comes to gairaigo, every time there's a consonant cluster or a final one you generally add a -u to it. Glass=gurasu, plan=puran, story=sutoorii, wrestling=resuringu. As far as I can tell, this ...
user48723's user avatar
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Difference between 火花 and スパーク

When talking about sparks, what is the difference between 火花 and スパーク? If I want to describe a spark of static electricity, which word is better to use? Can either of these words be used ...
SpikedHelmet's user avatar
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Difference between 道化師, ピエロ, and クラウン

What’s the difference in usage between these three words? ピエロ クラウン 道化師 Which of these would describe a typical American’s notion of a circus clown? type of clown I’m thinking of Does one of these ...
Jimmy's user avatar
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Kanji after gairaigo pronunciation [duplicate]

For instance, in "アカウントにサインイン中です。" How is "中" pronounced? At a purely mental level, I've always maintained the idea that how you read is up to you, which seems to be backed by ...
wanwandrew's user avatar
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1 answer
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Did the medical mask exist in Japan before the arrival of the English?

The word for a medical "mask" is borrowed from the English language. Does this infer that these types of masks did not exist in Japan before the arrival of the English? If these masks did ...
ディービッド・アイリッシュ's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
145 views

What is the difference between ギャンブラー, 博徒, and 博奕打ち?

I was looking up a character from a Japanese game whose profession/specialty was gambler and saw that the word used in Japanese was ギャンブラー. My general distaste for katakana-English inflamed, I looked ...
Justin Sewell's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
170 views

How to understand usage of ツ in words with a closed syllable?

We have words ペット、ベッド、ファックス、ピクニック. The symbol ッ usually is indicated for doubling consonants or to indicate a closed syllable. The question is why the word post (ポスト) was written without ッ before ト? ...
Dcruel's user avatar
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How to read 艶肌 in 艶肌メイク

Question: How is the 艶肌 in 艶肌メイク ("glossy skin make-up") pronounced? Context: An Instagram influencer used 艶肌メイク in one of their posts. Background: I struggle with newly coined Japanese ...
HelloSekai's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
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What was the movement of tea leaves called before it was called ジャンピング?

I recently learned that apparently the phenomenon of tea leaves moving up and down in very hot water is called ジャンピング (See example videos). This surprises me a bit as I would certainly expect that ...
Ringil's user avatar
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3 votes
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Why is there ベッドルーム when there's already 寝室? [duplicate]

I was trying to find house vocabulary and found multiple (from my perspective) synonyms (where the synonyms sounded like English). For example, ベッドルーム and 寝室, as well as キッチン and 台所, as well as バスルーム ...
Lans's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Meaning of "本ノック"?

I've seen some books with "本ノック" in the title, such as "Python実践データ分析100本ノック" and "有機化学1000本ノック 反応機構編" but can't figure out what it actually means. I've also seen it used ...
Floating Sunfish's user avatar
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1 answer
384 views

What is the reason for the odd vowel values of Japanese ココア?

I've done a bit of digging, and for the life of me, I cannot find any clear record or explanation for why Japanese ココア is pronounced the way it is. Sources researched to date: Lots of different ...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
291 views

Do [贈]{おく}り物 and プレゼント mean the same thing?

The use of loan words such as プレゼント are used much more just like カメラ is and such. So should i just disregard [贈]{おく}り物 and focus my memory on something else or do you know if [贈]{おく}り物 is still used ...
TensaiBakabon's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
161 views

Loanwords not being pronounced in a normal moraic rhythm?

Here's a spectogram of a speaker's rendition of “プロトタイプ” from English “prototype”, collected from Forvo It should be clear from this spectogram that the pu-mora is pronounced in half a mora; the mora-...
Zorf's user avatar
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10 votes
0 answers
362 views

Do loanwords have quasi-phonemic vowel reduction?

I've started to notice this, and I'm not sure whether my eyes are deceiving me or not, but it seems as if several, but not all loans have a high statistical probability of vowels being reduced/...
Zorf's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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ガスレンジ and 電子レンジ

Does 電子レンジ not carry a meaning for electric stove as well as microwave?
Jack D's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is ゼミ a synonym for a university class?

I know that ゼミ is short for ゼミナール (seminar), but the word seems to be used differently than how it's used in English. My guess from the times I've seen it used is that it's a catch-all term for ...
ssuga's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
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Why is "Wikipedia" written as ウィキペディア instead of ワィキペディア?

The free online dictionary Wikipedia is called ウィキペディア in kana. Why is it not called ワィキペディア? Which string of kana provides a pronunciation closer to the English word?
Ragaroni's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
975 views

Is there a Kanji for the Japanese word イクラ as in salmon roe?

I can't find anything in the dictionary. My book gives the word in hiragana but the dictionary also shows katakana. A quick google revealed that it is a loanword from Russian so katakana seems more ...
Kantura's user avatar
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What is the etymological origin of the word キノピオ (Toad in Super Mario Bros)?

I just found out the Toad character from the Super Mario Bros is known as キノピオ in Japan. Where does that name come from? I know 茸 (きのこ) means mushroom, but what does the suffix -ピオ stand for? Thanks ...
Julio Arriaga's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
325 views

Why are some Japanese foreign words spelled with different sounds?

Please consider the following: Warrior is ウォリアー: this vowel sound "a" changes to ”オ" Work is ワーク:this vowel sound "o" changes to "ア" Chariot is チャリオット:this vowel sound "a" stays "ア" Corridor is コリドー:...
Snow's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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パドル -What does it actually mean?

I believe, many of you have already seen this meme. In short, in a PlayStation game Fate/Extra an anime girl is singing Jingle bells-like song in Japanese: 走{はし}れ艝{そり}よ 風{かぜ}のように 月{ずき}見晴{みは}らを ...
mpasko256's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
304 views

Did the Japanese have a concept of "Asia" apart from the Eurocentric definition?

Japan had contact with China, India and the Mongols, among others. Is there a term they used for Asia (in the sense of "land mass where China is" or such) before "アジア"?
omae's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
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Is 人孔 from English?

I was discussing with a friend about the word 人孔, and I know I read (or was told) that it's taken from the English "manhole", literally juxtaposing the kanji for "man" with that for "hole", since for ...
Mauro's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
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Why is デレる ichidan? (Etymology of デレる and デレデレ)

I thought modern slangy verbs coined from onomatopoeia and loanwords were all godan verbs (for example, ググる, コピる, ピヨる, ボコる). This has been asked several times: What are the principles behind turning ...
naruto's user avatar
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1 answer
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Correct translation for application user roles

I'm working on an application which has user roles such as "admin", "customer", "contractor"and would like to add localisation to the app. On my main menu I have: Users Roles Tenants and the ...
Bassie's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Native Japanese vocabulary, pure Wago/Yamato Kotoba

Can you still speak Japanese while avoiding to use most Chinese loan words? The native portion of the Japanese language is called Yamato Kotoba or Wago, but how fluent could you still be without the ...
unknown_person_1000's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
436 views

How to know whether a word is borrowed from foreign languages?

If I want to translate the word "card" into Japanese, there's only one word in Katakana in Google Translation: カード. If I search the relevant Chinese word "卡片", there's still only one single result カード ...
billzt's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why is beatboxing called 「ヒューマンビートボックス」?

I was watching TV when the topic turned to certain celebrities' ability to beatbox. In talking about this every mention of the term beatbox was ヒューマンビートボックス. Why is human necessary? The use of ...
By137's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What term would be used for words that are borrowed from Japanese and used in other languages?

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 ...
Jack Bosma's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
162 views

At what age is a person considered to be シルバー?

I read this term in an online article and it was referring to people. I assume it means elderly people. Is there an age that one must be to use this term?
Jack Bosma's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
421 views

Looking to understand a fantasy name

This is related to Beyblade, regarding a team exclusive to a game that didn't get translated to English. Each blader has their own holy beast to command and I'm not getting the name of one of them. ...
Andrea's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What does エセインテリ mean?

is it like a pseudo-intellectual or something else?
gbfrd's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
349 views

What's the origin of the title 親王?

As far as I know, prior to the adoption of the title "Emperor" in ancient China by Shihuangdi (who claimed to be the first 皇帝 (huangdi), from the titles of 8 ancient godly beings), 王 was the sole ...
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