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English in Japanese

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English in Japanese

Postby lomagu » Fri 08.26.2005 9:42 pm

Hi, sorry if this has already been posted somewhere, but I didn't see it anywhere.

Does anyone know why English words are used so much in Japanese? I don't mean names for things like, 'computer.' I mean words like ハップニング, ケースバイケース, チェックする, プライスダウン (I'm not sure if all the spelling is right - I'm not good with changing words into katakana) and what not. There are Japanese words for these, so why bother using English?
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 08.26.2005 11:03 pm

I think because in many cases they're either seen as trendy, more easily understood, or just convey a nuance that is not available from the Japanese word.

I think it's the fact that Japanese is a seperatist langauge (ie uses katakana for loan words) that we notice it so much, but english actually has more loan words than japanese, I think. I'm not sure on the numbers, but I remember hearing that somewhere like 30 percent of our words come from other languages (french mostly) even though English itself is germanic.

I guess languages just like loan words. It's chic. ;)

By the by, did you know that どもうありがとう is also a loan word? It comes from the portugese phrase Domo Abligato (spelling mangeled).
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby CviCvraeVtMoriar » Sat 08.27.2005 2:59 am

I don't mean to be rude and correct you or anything, but I believe that as much as 60 percent of English's vocabulary comes from other languages (as you said, mostly French.) If you count all the medical words, it would be far higher...

Much of our vocabulary, even daily use words, are 'manufactured' words that were adopted into our language by classical language freaks in the middle ages, as Shakespeare, who is credited with having introduced hundreds of words into English that hitherto had not existed...

Anyways......... I'm going to go back to playing FFVIII now.... :|
Last edited by CviCvraeVtMoriar on Sat 08.27.2005 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 08.27.2005 3:04 am

Thanks for the correction. I remembered seeing it written that it was more like 50 percent, but I always have a habit of exagerating numbers, and didn't want to seem like I was just pulling stuff out of nowhere. ;)
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby CviCvraeVtMoriar » Sat 08.27.2005 3:41 am

I thought as much...


Anyways, sorry...
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby zengargoyle » Sat 08.27.2005 6:24 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
By the by, did you know that どもうありがとう is also a loan word? It comes from the portugese phrase Domo Abligato (spelling mangeled).


just because i came across it recently... sci.lang.japan FAQ: 6.12.1
6.12.1. Is arigatou related to Portuguese "obrigado"?

No. Arigatou comes from arigatai, a conjunction of the verb aru, "to have", with the ending gatai which means "difficult". The "ou" ending comes from the conjunction of the adjectival arigataku with the polite verb gozaimasu.

Other common examples of this type of conjugation include omedetou gozaimasu (congratulations) from medetaku and ohayou gozaimasu (good morning) from hayaku. The word arigatai existed in Japanese long before the Japanese ever encountered Portuguese. It can be found in some of the earliest Japanese literature such as the manyoushuu (See 4.3.11. What is man'yougana? ). Similarly, "obrigado" in Portuguese comes from Latin "obligare". The change l -> r is typical of Latin-derived Portuguese words.

(See also 6.12.2. Which Japanese words originate from Portugese? )
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 08.27.2005 7:55 pm

へぇー

すごいなぁ
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby lomagu » Sun 08.28.2005 12:08 am

really, wow. :o My Japanese teacher told me it was from the Portuguese word too.

Anyway, I know English is a mix of other languages... but, that started a long time ago, right? For Japanese, I'm curious as to when they started using English (again, not names for things). Is it a fairly recent thing? I don't see it going back as the middle ages, but who knows...
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby Daichi » Tue 08.30.2005 9:21 am

lomagu wrote:
For Japanese, I'm curious as to when they started using English (again, not names for things). Is it a fairly recent thing? I don't see it going back as the middle ages, but who knows...


Japan shut it's self off from other nations for a substantial period of time, so most, if not all, Western influences are fairly recent.

Prior to the 1630s Japan had established trade relations with the Dutch and the English, altough their influences were controlled by supression of Christianity etc.

In 1633, Shogun Lemitsu banned foreign travel and, six years later, heavily restricted outside contact, with the exception of limited trade with the Dutch and Chinese at Nagasaki.

In 1720 the ban on Western literature was lifted and Chinese and Dutch books began to enter Japan.

It wasn't until the arrival of Commodore Perry from USA followed by the restoration of Emperor Meiji, in 1868, that the Japanese began to trade more readily with the West, on account of it's advanced science and military.
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby Harisenbon » Thu 10.06.2005 11:57 pm

Golgo,
Ask a westerner to say the following words:
Sake
Karate
Karaoke
Kamikazi
Sayounara
Konnichiwa

Then we can talk about annoying.

And how about all the French words (stated earlier) that we butcher in English? There's a children's hospital in my hometown called Le Bohnehr. Lord knows that it's not supposed to be pronounced Lay bonner. But that's how it's said.
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby Harisenbon » Fri 10.07.2005 1:53 am

First, my name is not Harris, and my last name is not Enbon.

*rest of post deleted for reasons of seething anger*
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby Mukade » Wed 10.12.2005 8:23 am

Golgo-13 wrote:
I don't mind so that that they use English words in their speech, but what annoys me is that mispronounce words. And when they speak English they retain the wrong pronunciation and still expect to be understood.

Everytime I hear someone say "major" (pronounced as "measure") I want to slap someone. And the name "David" is often said like "Debit". I could go on and on.


You know, I have to say that this (very typically American) attitude that everyone around the world should cater to America by speaking flawless English is really sickening.

One would have thought that since we had entered the 21st century that this sort of archaic thinking had died along with Flat-Eart theories and Phrenology, but I guess I'm mistaken.

So, just for the record: all you non-Americans need to learn English perfectly and speak said language with a perfect American accent.

Oh, and by the way, we Americans are exempt from having to say any foreign-originated word with anything even remotely resembling its original pronunciation.

Talk about double standards...
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 10.12.2005 9:07 am

Mukade,
Thank you so much for stepping in and saying politely what I could not.

One thing that should also be noted is that while Japan has had English classes as part of it's standardized curriculum for 58 something years, native speakers (AETs) have only started entering the school system in the last 10-15 years. Before that, the focus was on reading a writing rather than speaking and listening.
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby WacKostRacKo » Wed 10.12.2005 9:53 am

hear hear mukade.
tanuki wrote:
How about:

外人: これはすしです。すしが好きです。
日本人: おお!日本語が上手ですね。
外人: Erm....what?


story of my life...
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RE: English in Japanese

Postby KeroGero » Wed 10.12.2005 10:54 am

maybe this page I found a few days ago will shed some light on the issue...
http://www.timwerx.net/language/englished.htm

Here's a quote...

One of the worst things that Japan's Ministry of Education has done to English education is approve textbooks which include katakana as a pronunciation guide. Katakana is one of 4 "alphabets" used in Japan, primarily to make noises in comic books and write foreign words and names. Unfortunately, it also does an effective job of teaching children how not to pronounce English correctly. No katakana exist which can accurately represent sounds like r, l, th, f, v, and many of our vowels, so the closest ones are used. This results in having all these kids memorizing "Japanese English," a brand of English that is incomprehensible to native English speakers. Coffee becomes cohhee; dog, dohggu; cat, kyahtto; and hot, hohtto. Unfortunately, these kids think they're learning English while actually learning a unique form of English only known in Japan.

To cite one good example of how great a disservice this is to students, once while on a homestay program with a group of students in California a perplexed student came to me and said, "I went to a carnival with my host family yesterday, and when I tried to order a hotdog at a food stand the man couldn't understand me."

"What did you say?" I asked.

"'A hohtto dohggu pleazu,' and even though I repeated it 3 or 4 times he couldn't understand."

"Well," I explained, "It's simple. All you have to do is say 'a hotdog, please' and forget all that katakana English they taught you in junior high."
★★★★★
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