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Japanese English is words translated into Japanese directly from English

2023/12/15

What is Japanese English? In Japanese, words that came from foreign countries or words that have been translated into Japanese directly from English are expressed using katakana. We introduce some Japanese English today.

For example, ハンバーガー(hanbāgā), インターネット(intānetto), ボランティア(boranthia),プロジェクト(purojekuto), ドキュメント(dokyumento), グローバル(gurōbaru),etc. Katakana is also used in the names of shops and companies such as マクドナルド(McDonald’s), スターバックス(Starbucks), and グーグル(Google).

However, even if Japanese people think that kind of words are universal, they may actually only be understood by Japanese people, or the meanings may be slightly different between Japanese and English. 

Here we will introduce some of these Japanese katakana English words.

ホットケーキ(Hotto kēki) About pancakes. It’s probably called this because it’s a hot cake baked in a frying pan.

フライドポテト(furaido poteto) In English, it’s French fries.

マンション(mansyon) It’s not a luxury house, it’s a normal apartment complex.

サラリーマン(sararīman) About office workers. It means salaried worker.

パソコン(pasokon) This is a shorten word of personal computer.

エアコン(eakon) This is a shorten word of air conditioner.

ホチキス(hochikisu) About the stapler. For some reason in Japanese, it is called by the name of the person who invented the tool.

ペットボトル(pettobotoru) About plastic bottles. The abbreviation PET, which stands for polyethylene tereftate, is pronounced pet and is a combination of the word with “bottle”.

ファイト!(faito) This does not mean “fight!” but rather “do your best.” These are words that encourage you to take on challenges.

How many did you understand? Please try using it when you go to Japan. Although it is Japanese English, if you pronounce it with a strong vowel, it will sound very Japanese!

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