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42

Phonemes and Allophones In English, we have two different /p/ sounds. When you say pin, you use an aspirated [pʰ] sound, and when you say spin you use an unaspirated [p˭] sound. This may come as a surprise! English speakers generally think of them as being the exact same sound. That's because English doesn't have any pair of words which are ...


33

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 have the same origins? Seeing as how both Spanish and Portuguese are Latin-based languages, I think it's not a stretch of the imagination to say that the origins ...


28

Why is it pronounced "yen"? I was actually wondering this a month or so ago, but found the answer on the Wikipedia article for yen/en. The spelling and pronunciation "yen" is standard in English. This is because mainly English speakers who visited Japan at the end of the Edo period to the early Meiji period spelled words this way. ... In the 16th century,...


23

Any word read in on'yomi in Japanese and using the Sinic hanja reading in Korean is probably ultimately attributable to Middle Chinese, unless evidence can be found of an independent coinage somewhere on the Japanese archipelago or the Korean peninsula. Terms like the ones below are likely borrowings from Middle or later Korean, rather than Chinese. We can ...


22

but I am constantly baffled by why certain loan words from English are constructed using certain katakana sounds. Loan words do not necessarily need to be borrowed from English. In fact, most old loan words (in the 外来語 sense) were borrowed from Portuguese. For example, if someone asked me to say "energy" in Japanese, I would have guessed エナジー or maybe ...


21

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 taught in Japanese schools. A: エー【HL】 B: ビー【HL】 C: シー【HL】 D: ディー【HHL】 E: イー【HL】 F: エフ【HL】 G: ジー【HL】 H: エイチ【HLL】 I: アイ【HL】 J: ジェー【HHL】 K: ケー【HL】 L: エル【HL】 M: エム【HL】...


21

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 Japanese. トイレ has both meanings. For example: トイレに[行]{い}ってもいいですか? (Literally) Is it OK to go to the bathroom (restroom)? トイレが[流]{なが}れません. The toilet ...


21

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 share a huge volume of cognates. It's not happenstance that things worked out this way, and I think it's interesting to understand a bit of the historical ...


21

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 hinges. Before the introduction of Western-style doors, you are also correct to assume that the Japanese had doors as well. These doors would slide on a track. In ...


18

It is 和製英語. Sometime around the 1920s, employees at 東京電燈会社 created a device which consisted of a plug and outlet. This was called コンセントプラグ "concentric plug". Outlets without the plugs are now referred to as コンセント. Needless to say, English "concentric" does not make much sense.


17

I'm fairly certain that this has to do with pitch in Japanese and accentuation in English. The natural pitch for デバグ【HLL】 is HLL, whereas デバッグ【LHLL】 would naturally be LHL (and バグ【HL】 is HL). To mimic accentuation by pitch (i.e. accented syllables get a high pitch after transliteration), the ッ is necessary to give the バ a (natural) high pitch. バグ already ...


17

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 (in English; full disclosure: I edited that entry. See the listed sources there for authoritatively edited materials.). Why it is rendered this way in Japanese ...


17

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 ...


16

It is native Japanese (和語). It is a compound of kao (顔) and hayui (映ゆい). A simplified view of the phonological development is kapopayu-ki > kaɸoɸayu-ki > kawowayu-ki > kaowayu-ki > kawayu-ki > kawayu-i > kawai-i. Other than the normal p > ɸ > w > Ø, the two major changes are 1) merge of owa > wa and yu > i. 可愛 is ateji (当て字).


16

西瓜(すいか)is a Japanese word, borrowed from the Chinese. It is not known exactly when watermelons arrived in Japan, though it was most likely after the Muromachi period (1333-1573 CE). Words which are native to Japan, borrowed from China, or borrowed a long time ago tend to be written in Kanji and Hiragana. Incidentally, 「西」means west and 「瓜」means melon or ...


15

It comes from the Greek word xylon, which means wood. The Greek word xylon is pronounced "ksilon", so the Japanese transcription is faithful to the original Greek pronunciation, rather than the English corruption of the word. See the answer to this question for the reason why "x" is pronounced "z" at the beginning of English words. As for the origin of ...


15

I think on reading ヴァ, ヴィ, etc., people usually try to pronounce it differently from バ, ビ, etc., but with varying success. In fact, I think most Japanese that try to distinguish ヴァ and バ pronounce what would be //v// indeed like the Spanish [[β]], a voiced bilabial fricative (or like a combination like [[bβ]]). That seems to make sense since the voiceless ...


15

First, a brief explanation of the word 「テンション」 for those who are not familiar with it. It does not mean "tension" or "tense". Rather, it refers to "(a level of) excitement or hyperness seen in a person". 「テンション」 is such a frequently-used word that I had to define it first. I know from my personal experience that quite a few J-learners would think that ...


15

Most "officially", it is called 「カルトン」. As it says in the Wiki article above, it is also called 「キャッシュトレイ」、「コイントレイ」、「釣{つ}り銭{せん}トレイ」, etc. For those interested, I just found an article on this subject in the Japan Times.


15

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) and ガス代{だい} (gas bill*; can be used for both things such as propane gas and for other types of fuel, like gasoline, diesel, etc). In general I would say that ...


14

Heads up: Some of this is going to be a bit obscure. Wikipedia covers some of this ground; examples consisting of proper names, place names, etc. were checked via Japanese Wikipedia articles. ウィ、ウ、ウェ、ウォ Due to holes in the ワ column (including the general restriction of 「ヲ」 to grammatical duties), 「ウ」can pair with other vowels to replicate /w/ ...


14

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/接続する (~に)リベンジする = (~に)復讐する (~に)コンサルトする = (~に)相談する (~に)タッチする = (~に)触れる When the original Japanese verb is transitive, the loanword version is also transitive. (~...


13

Someone else might have better referenced information but I was told these words predate the Second World War when the Japanese government policy was to avoid, possibly even outlaw, all loanwords. (My Japanese father in law told me he was not taught English because it was language of the enemy.) There were also Japanese names for the fielding positions in ...


13

It appears that コンセント derives from "concentric plug", as plugs were round (concentric) in early 20th century England. source


13

This is a community wiki post. cup コップ drinking cup カップ coffee cup, etc. iron アイロン clothes iron アイアン metal iron (Fe) lemonade ラムネ nativized fruit-flavored pop soda レモネード lemonade machine ミシン sewing machine マシン machine in general micro ミクロ tiny マイクロ micro (SI prefix 10-6) pudding プディング pudding in general プリン custard pudding strike ストライキ strike (...


13

That's not likely to happen, as long as the survey was conducted in Japanese. USA → アメリカ, 米国{べいこく} As like most nations outside US do, we prefer to abbreviate the country's name to toponym. USSR → ソ連{れん} (ソビエト) Russia → ロシア ("united states" → 合衆国{がっしゅうこく}) If someone should believe that the Soviet Union was America, then it's another failure of public ...


13

Because хорошо is pronounced just like ハラショ. http://ja.forvo.com/word/хорошо/


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