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36 votes
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Is the Japanese word "pan" (パン) related in its origins to the Spanish word "pan"?

According to jisho.org パン has its origins from the Portuguese word “pão”, and was originally written as 麺麭 or 麪包 before being written as パン like it is today. Is this pure coincidence or do they ...
ajsmart's user avatar
  • 7,099
24 votes
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How to pronounce the English alphabet? (A, B, C, ...)

I share your experience. Sticking straight to the katakana pronunciation below, I have never had the problem of someone not understanding me any more. I believe this is the pronunciation currently ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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23 votes

Why does 'アプリストア’ mean appstore?

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 ...
Basil's user avatar
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21 votes
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Does トイレ refer to the British "toilet" or the American "toilet"?

When a word is loaned by another language, it is not always true that a loan word has the exact same meaning as the original word. You have to know how it is used in Japanese to know what it means in ...
Rathony's user avatar
  • 2,098
21 votes

Is the Japanese word "pan" (パン) related in its origins to the Spanish word "pan"?

This is not pure coincidence, but the Japanese did not get the word パン from Spanish, but rather Portuguese. The coincidence part is that Spanish and Portuguese are very closely related languages and ...
A.Ellett's user avatar
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21 votes
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What's the original Japanese word for door, other than the loanword ドア?

Your suspicion is leading you down the right path. ドア is in fact a loanword from English. According to Jisho.org, ドア is used in reference to a Western-style door. This is a door that opens on ...
ajsmart's user avatar
  • 7,099
18 votes
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Which language レシート is adapted from?

Derivation of レシート Numerous dictionaries state that レシート is from English receipt. See, for instance, the Dajisen and Daijirin entries visible here at Kotobank (in Japanese), or here at Wiktionary (...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
17 votes

Why is "Wikipedia" written as ウィキペディア instead of ワィキペディア?

ウィ is the standard way of transcribing [wi] or [wɪ]. Similarly ウェ is used for [wɛ] (for example website → ウェブサイト) and ウォ for [wɒ] or [wɔ] (for example wombat → ウォンバット or walkman ウォークマン). Here ウ is ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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15 votes
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Does ガス also mean gasoline in Japanese?

While it does appear in the Japanese dictionaries with the meaning of "gasoline", I would say it is not common to use it like in English, except for a few special cases like ガス欠{けつ}(being out of fuel) ...
a20's user avatar
  • 2,202
15 votes
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Transitive English words becoming intransitive 外来語

There should be exceptions, but I suppose this is largely based on the transitivity of the original Japanese verb before it was replaced by the loanword. (~に)キスする = (~に)口づけする (~に)アクセスする = (~に)進入する/...
naruto's user avatar
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15 votes
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Why is beatboxing called 「ヒューマンビートボックス」?

The term is a loanword from the English term human beatbox or beat box: a person that makes musical sounds using the human vocal organs. The abbreviated term is beatbox or beat box. The performer is ...
Jack Bosma's user avatar
  • 6,767
14 votes

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

Short Answer: As for the Japanese language, we didn't have such a word and I don't think we should have had. Ancient Japanese only knew as far as India, that means they only knew one "landmass" in ...
broccoli forest's user avatar
12 votes
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How can the well-known Tintin become タンタン in Japanese?

The タンタン rendering has a lot to do with the source French pronunciation, [[tɛ̃tɛ̃]]. The [[ɛ]] vowel in the International Phonetic Alphabet is the open-mid front unrounded vowel, halfway between [[a]]...
Eiríkr Útlendi's user avatar
12 votes

How would I know whether a word existed and was commonly used N years ago?

BCCWJ is a corpus of written Japanese and you can search it here. Type the word in the search box and you can see the published year of the texts in which the word was used. However, it focuses on ...
legogo's user avatar
  • 340
11 votes
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What differences are there between the English word "memo" and the Japanese word "メモ"?

I don't think that メモ is ever used to mean anything that translates to, or related to, the English word memory. As for me, I have always thought of its etymology as English memorandum, and every ...
Yosh's user avatar
  • 3,956
11 votes
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Why isn't there an actual Japanese word for "balcony"?

Traditional Japanese houses are made of wood, so it was indeed fairly uncommon to have balconies above the first (ground) floor due to durability issues. However, some castles and temples did have one ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 321k
10 votes
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Words for computer: パソコン or コンピューター

Generally, what Faily Feely said in comment is all: パソコン is thought to be an abbreviation for パーソナルコンピューター (personal computer). When used as パソコン, I'd imagine a (home) desktop PC. When used as ...
Yuki Inoue's user avatar
  • 1,047
10 votes
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Why are "loanwords" written in katakana?

Because that's the original purpose of katakana. Katakana was invented to denote the readings of unfamiliar foreign words (although, in those days, "foreign words" mainly referred to words in Asian ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 321k
10 votes
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How to pronounce 1ターン?

Both いちたーん and いったーん are valid. (As an aside, わんたーん is also very common, especially when it's part of a longer phrase like 1ターンキル.) There may be exceptions I'm not aware of, but basically foreign ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 321k
9 votes

Are on’yomi words loanwords?

As far as Japanese is concerned, loanwords (外来語) usually refer to words brought into Japan from countries other than China and written in katakana. But strictly speaking, it depends on how you define ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 321k
9 votes

What does エセインテリ mean?

Yes. エセ = 似非 = pseudo; fake; quack; etc. (似非関西弁、似非医者、似非学問, etc.) インテリ = intellectual
Darius Jahandarie's user avatar
9 votes

When to use ンネ vs ッネ?

The character っ (the small つ) represents a blocking of the airflow that lasts for more or less the duration of one mora (or one beat) before a plosive or an affricate, or a prolonged hissing in a ...
aguijonazo's user avatar
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8 votes
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What is nuance of using 外来語 for simple nouns?

This greatly depends on the word... As for 地図 vs マップ and 毛 vs ヘア, the traditional kanji versions are still the normal choices. We hear ヘア in very limited situations, like in hair salons and ads for ...
naruto's user avatar
  • 321k
8 votes

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

Yes, many people do. The katakana transcriptions of them are based on English, and so they sound. There are other confusing country names in Japanese such as アルバニア{Albania} and アルメニア{Armenia}, アイルランド{...
broccoli forest's user avatar
8 votes
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Meaning of イメージ in context of disclaimer

Your understanding is correct. For example, in http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/15070/meaning/m0u/ イメージ is explained as 心に思い浮かべる像や情景。 Primary meaning of イメージ is an imaginary figure you'll have in ...
Yuki Inoue's user avatar
  • 1,047
8 votes

Meaning of イメージ in context of disclaimer

Japanese use "イメージ(image)" as "things look just like the real thing." There are plenty of "イメージ(images)" in Japan. Especially you can find a lots of "イメージ 映像(あるいは写真)" illustrating the effectness of ...
Sonny365 TANAKA's user avatar
8 votes

Is the Japanese word "pan" (パン) related in its origins to the Spanish word "pan"?

Pan comes from the Portuguese word pão for wheat bread specifically and bread in general. The coincidence part is due to the fact the portuguese traders and then Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries ...
Antonio de Sousa's user avatar

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