Origin of "Japan"

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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tanuki
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Origin of "Japan"

Post by tanuki » Wed 02.15.2006 10:20 pm

Hello!

So, I read that Nihon 日本 means "origin of the sun", and that the Chinese gave it that name (I hope that information is right). So far, so good. But what about "Japan"? Where does that name come from, who gave it to it and what does it means, if it has a meaning?

Thanks a lot in advance for your replies!
僕の下手な日本語を直してください。

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zengargoyle
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RE: Origin of "Japan"

Post by zengargoyle » Wed 02.15.2006 10:52 pm


coco
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RE: Origin of "Japan"

Post by coco » Thu 02.16.2006 4:54 pm

I hope that information is right
Please check the article (6.5.)that zengargoyle-san showed you.

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tanuki
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RE: Origin of "Japan"

Post by tanuki » Thu 02.16.2006 10:22 pm

Very interesting! Thanks a lot!
僕の下手な日本語を直してください。

amego
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RE: Origin of "Japan"

Post by amego » Sat 02.18.2006 10:37 am

日本 in Cantonese is "yat bun". In a Cantonese learning site, I remembered seeing them putting the sound "y" as "j", so their "yat" is written as "jat", maybe people in the past also used this transliterating system, so if we think this way, yat bun>>jat bun which is pretty close to "Japan".:D

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keatonatron
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RE: Origin of "Japan"

Post by keatonatron » Sat 02.18.2006 10:01 pm

My favorite article on this topic comes from Wikipedia. Check out the first section "History"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Japan

The English word for Japan came to the West from early trade routes. The early Mandarin Chinese or possibly Wu Chinese word for Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. The modern Shanghainese (a Wu Chinese dialect 呉語) pronunciation of characters 日本 (Japan) is still Zeppen [z@?p@n]. The Malay word for Japan, Jepang (modern spelling Jepun), was borrowed from a Chinese language, and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Malacca in the 16th century. It is thought the Portuguese traders were the first to bring the word to Europe. It was first recorded in English in 1577 spelled Giapan.
Last edited by keatonatron on Sat 02.18.2006 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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