Questions tagged [loanwords]

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

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4
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1answer
405 views

Omitting half of a letter in Japanese

Specifically when transcribing foreign words into katakana, it is often implied that half of a letter is dropped in pronunciation. Take for example メルボルン, the Japanese import of the Australian city ...
5
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2answers
263 views

Why is Beach ビーチ and not ビーチュ, why is Cake ケーキ and not ケーク?

The latter sounds better, in my opinion. But is that just my opinion?
6
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2answers
1k views

Why is "boyfriend" transliterated as 「ボーイフレンド 」 instead of 「ボイフレンド」?

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 ...
4
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2answers
666 views

Why are some loanwords written in kanji in certain manga?

In One Piece for example I've noticed that the word "Log Pose" is written as 記録指針{ログポーズ}. Another example, also found in One Piece, is the word "Poneglyph", written as 歴史{ポーネ}の本文{グリフ}. Why do words ...
19
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2answers
9k views

How to pronounce the English alphabet? (A, B, C, ...)

I just had to tell a long booking number over the phone, and realized that some characters like V/B can be hard to convey. So, I want to learn exactly how each letter is currently taught in Japanese ...
2
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3answers
765 views

Is the word Canon キヤノン (camera brand) related with キャメラ?

I am not sure whether it is on-topic here, but the following question was asked on English Language and Usage. What does the word “Canon” (the digicam brand) mean? I searched the word and its ...
3
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2answers
205 views

Sprachgefühl corresponding word in Japanese

I am looking for a one-word, or maybe a two-word comparable word Sprachgefühl/Sprachgefuhl in Japanese. According to this: Sprachgefühl 言葉が持つ本来の語法に対する直感的な感覚. Meaning: an intuitive feeling for ...
9
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1answer
264 views

What is nuance of using 外来語 for simple nouns?

I've been wondering lately about the usage of 外来語 that seem especially redundant, such as ドライバー instead of ねじ回し, ヘア instead of 毛, or マップ instead of 地図. I understand many of the purposes of 外来語 when a ...
7
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3answers
376 views

Do native Japanese speakers confuse "オーストリア" and "オーストラリア"

Native English speakers sometimes mix up Austria and Australia (example). Do native Japanese speakers sometimes mix up "オーストリア" and "オーストラリア"?
9
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1answer
277 views

Has the meaning of "revenge" been lost in translation to リベンジ?

I can see リベンジ used often in internal business communication for "2nd attempt" (like リベンジ判定会議 or リベンジ提案). Wikipedia also suggests it bears the meaning of 「再挑戦」の意味でも使われる。 Would it be acceptable to use ...
5
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3answers
423 views

Etymology of names of playing cards?

According to the Japanese wikipedia, the playing cards ("trump") are named as follows (written in Japanese in katakana): A: Ace 2: Deuce 3: torei 4: keito 5: shinku 6: saisu 7: Seven 8: ...
12
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3answers
662 views

Why is this katakana not reversed?

Just saw this image about Nintendo on Kotaku: Clearly the company name, description, and location are written in traditional right-to-left orientation. Even かるた is right-to-left. So why is トランプ ...
3
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1answer
366 views

What does かみつれ mean?

I'm trying to figure out what "かみつれを手に". The word かみつれ is in hiragana, so I can't use kanji to figure it out. I have a feeling it means "( something ) in hand". I searched in Google, and ...
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2answers
2k views

Is なんとか なる さ meant to be written in Hiragana and not Katakana?

Good day, I have tattooed the words "nantoka naru sa" in Kana on my right arm and a while ago I was reading some Japanese lessons where it explains that Katakana is used only when you're translating a ...
3
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2answers
371 views

Do non-native speakers of English find gairaigo more difficult to learn than native speakers of English?

I've occasionally heard people who aren't native speakers of English complain about gairaigo (words derived from European languages, not words derived from Chinese) being difficult to learn. ...
5
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3answers
445 views

Difference between マップ and 地図

What's the difference between the kanji term and the katakana term, and when should I use them? I think that some katakana words are only used when the author is being gratuitous with katakana, but I ...
2
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1answer
181 views

Is ダウンアンダー understood by non-Australian Japanese speakers?

Firstly, is "ダウンアンダー" the correct spelling? I think it is, based on the Japanese Wikipedia articles メン・アット・ワーク and ツアー・ダウンアンダー , but I could be mistaken. But apart from that, is the average non-...
4
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2answers
221 views

Is there a term that covers both wasei eigo and gairaigo?

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?
6
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1answer
821 views

Are Japanese speakers likely to confuse "message" and "massage" in English?

I've occasionally noticed native speakers of Japanese using "massage" when they mean "message", but I can't recall native speakers of other languages mistaking the two. As far as I know, both "massage"...
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1answer
5k views

What is the katakana of STAR WARS?

スター・ワーズ? Sutaa Waazu? スター・ウォーズ? Sutaa uoozu?
2
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1answer
135 views

What is 「ケステンGチンキ」 a reference to?

This word/set of words/whatever it is popped up in something I am reading, and I cannot find any clue as to what it is referencing. The book is a taiko performer's biography, and this is the very last ...
2
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1answer
361 views

XをYという形に sentence

「俺焼き豚頼んでないですよ」 店主であり違法改造バイク夢五萬のライダーである高田くんのお兄さんは、菜ばしを“サービス”という形に動かした。 "I did not order pork loin." Takada's brother, who is the shop owner and rides an illegally modified motorcycle "...
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2answers
6k views

Is チェリーボーイ wasei-eigo?

Is the word チェリーボーイ (Eng. "cherry boy", meaning "male virgin") a genuine loanword from English, or is it wasei-eigo? I would have thought it to be a genuine loanword, but the sources cited on ...
2
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1answer
442 views

Trying to think of borrowed English words that parse "ti" as ティ or as チ。 [closed]

I often trip up in guessing the pronunciation of words that have been borrowed into Japanese from English where the original pronunciation had "ti" in it. For example, I might say ネイチブ instead of ...
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4answers
397 views

Why would Russian хорошо [xoroʂo] be borrowed as ハラショー?

The two first /o/s are borrowed as /a/ in Japanese. I don't understand why the Russian /o/ vowel sounds like /a/ to Japanese speakers instead of /o/ which is a phoneme in Japanese.
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1answer
111 views

Can the phrase 不条理劇 "a theatre of absurd" be used figuratively in Japanese?

Would it be valid in casual Japanese conversation to use the term 不条理劇{ふじょうりげき} or 不条理演劇{ふじょうりえんげき} to describe a situation in which for example two parties A and B are talking to each other using ...
6
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2answers
659 views

Meaning of 変なテンション

What does 変なテンション describe? To my limited understanding, the expression is used by a person who observes a テンション高い person but fails to understand why that person is テンション高い. Am I mistaken? Or is ...
0
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1answer
136 views

Which is more natural? ボディー vs ボディ

Which sentence is more natural? Sentence 1: また、突出部164は、シャフト130と平行にボディ162から延長形成されることができる。 Sentence 2: また、突出部164はシャフト130と平行にボディー162から延長形成されることができる。 Is ボディー a better translation for Body? Or ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Can the English suffix "-zilla" be translated back into Japanese?

Can the English suffix -zilla, a backformation from "Godzilla" describing something as large and/or destructive, be translated into Japanese and easily understood, and how would it be translated? As "...
5
votes
1answer
779 views

Are Japanese terms for the United States and the Soviet Union likely to be confused by native speakers of Japanese?

In the comments section of Do the Japanese believe that USSR dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?, it's speculated that Japanese people agreed with a statement that the Soviet Union ...
3
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1answer
111 views

What is the proper use case for コンペ先?

As I understand the term コンペ先 translates as a "competitor" (edit: from the examples in the answer, I think "contestant" seems more appropriate as there is an unspoken requirement for some contest or ...
0
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1answer
631 views

Why importing words from other languages rather than building new ones from existing kanji? [closed]

I would like to know why, in general, new words are imported (from English among other languages) rather that created with respect to the concept/thing they represent. For example, "computer" could ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

Is アルコール from Portuguese?

The word アルコール is very similar to the Portuguese alcohol (pronounced alcōl), this seems closer than the English アルコホール. So is the real etymology Portuguese rather than English?
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Can キーウィ be used to mean New Zealander?

Outside of Australia and New Zealand, am I likely to be understood by Japanese speakers if I use キーウィ to mean New Zealanders? Based on what weblio and Wiktionary say, I suspect not, but I want to ...
14
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2answers
45k views

Do Japanese actually pronounce the "v" sound?

Do Japanese actually pronounce the "v" sound? They do have a kana character (ヴ) dedicated to transcribing foreign "v" sounds, but do they actually pronounce them like the English phoneme /v/ (using ...
2
votes
2answers
331 views

Was 蒙古症 or similar words commonly used to refer to Down Syndrome?

The possibility that Japanese used words derived from "Mongoloid" to refer to Down Syndrome hadn't crossed my mind until I was mentioning the word to a Japanese person practicing English, but jisho....
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1answer
1k views

Why is イチゴ written in katakana?

From which language did it come to Japanese? And why does it have its own kanji?
5
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1answer
1k views

What is the etymology of イギリス?

I'm trying to figure out where the term イギリス for the United Kingdom came from. I suspect 英国【えいこく】 because they sound similar, but that seems a bit odd as Katakana words are usually loan words.
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1answer
1k views

Why do the Japanese use loanwords for words that have functional equivalents?

It strikes me, reading Japanese that katakana is often used for words that have functional equivalents in the Japanese language. Why is this? For instance, using ビル as opposed to 建物。 Or ブルー instead ...
5
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1answer
970 views

Is マスカット an accurate translation for "green grape", and what foreign word is it derived from?

I'm new to Japanese so I'm working my way through Human Japanese, when I was adding the vocabulary to Quizlet I realized I didn't know how to type マスカット because I'm not used to seeing ツ used like that....
3
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1answer
198 views

Is オージー understood by non-Australian Japanese speakers?

Is the word "オージー" (in the meaning of "Aussie", not as in "old girl" or other meanings) understood by non-Australian Japanese speakers? Also, in English, non-Australians have a tendency to use "...
4
votes
1answer
312 views

Is レリゴる likely to be understood, and what does it mean?

Last year, I heard from other English speakers about the katakana verb レリゴる. It's supposed to be a verb related to the movie Frozen (アナと雪の女王). Is the verb generally understood by Japanese speakers? I ...
4
votes
3answers
303 views

Standard for writing/pronouncing loanwords: ウインドー v.s. ウィンドウ, etc

In スーパー大辞林 I found: ウインドー [0] 〖window〗 (1)窓。 (2)ショー-ウインドーの略。陳列窓。 (3)コンピューターのディスプレー画面上で情報の表示されている部分。画面をいくつかの部分に分割し,それぞれに異なった情報を表示する方式をマルチ-ウインドーという。 In Wikipedia I found: Microsoft Windows(...
5
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1answer
3k views

What is the most common word used for 'idea'?

Pretty sure I've mostly seen idea as アイデア Does anyone know of other words used for 'idea' and if possible any example sentences and contexts where different words are used?
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2answers
1k views

Why is Austin spelled with an オ?

Based on the pronunciations here, what I hear in Anime, and the way I hear kana pronounced in Japanese class, it seems to me that Austin should start with ア rather than オ, but it is clearly spelled ...
0
votes
1answer
220 views

Could ルフレ be considered a gender-neutral name?

In the Fire Emblem: Awakening game, the avatar character — that is, the main character whose name and gender you pick — has a default name. In English, the default name is Robin, because the character ...
3
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2answers
296 views

What does 「アップしています」 mean?

For example: Youtubeで動画をアップしています。 Does 「アップ」 mean “upload”?
3
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1answer
215 views

Is スポーツ a plural-only word?

Typically there is no pluralization in Japanese unless specified. For example: この車【くるま】は綺麗【きれい】。 This car is clean. / These cars are clean. Does スポーツ work in the same way? Considering the ...
4
votes
4answers
585 views

Why do some loanword sounds get "contracted" when katakanized, but not others?

Not sure the best way to word this. Why is it that some sounds from a loanword get combined down to a shorter or different sound while other do not? Here are some examples: Shortened, but sound ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is Danny written & pronounced ダニー and not ダニ?

In Japanese, using Katakana, why is the name Danny written and pronounced ダニー. Why not just ダニ? I'm not sure why the i is being extended when this doesn't really happen in english.