When learning a new language, you will inevitably come across loan words. Loan words are words borrowed from another language and used in your own language. In the case of Japanese, there are many loan words from English. In this blog post, we will discuss the history of Japanese loan words, how to use them correctly, and some common examples. Let’s get started!
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How common are loan words in the Japanese language?
Loan words are actually quite common in the Japanese language. According to a study conducted by the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, loan words make up approximately 20-30% of the average person’s vocabulary. That means that for every ten words you hear, two or three of them may be loan words!
So where do these Japanese loan words come from?
The majority of Japanese loan words come from English. This is not surprising, considering the amount of contact between the two languages. In addition to English, Japanese has also borrowed words from Portuguese, Dutch, German, and French.
The origins of Japanese loan words
The origins of Japanese loan words are interesting and varied. Some words were borrowed during the Meiji period, when Japan began to open its doors to the Western world. Other words were borrowed more recently, during the economic boom of the 1980s. And still others were borrowed from popular culture, such as movies and music.
How to use Japanese loan words
When using Japanese loan words, it is important to be aware of the correct pronunciation and spelling. While some loan words are written in katakana (a Japanese syllabary), others are written in romaji (the Roman alphabet). In addition, many loan words have been adapted to fit the Japanese phonetic system, which means they may be pronounced differently than in their original language.
What are some common Japanese loan words?
Now that we’ve discussed the history and usage of Japanese loan words, let’s take a look at some common examples. Here are just a few of the many English loan words you may come across in Japan:
・バス (basu) = bus
・トイレ (toire) = toilet
・コーヒー (ko-hi-) = coffee
・チェック (chekku) = check
・パーティー (pa-ti-) = party
What are some more unusual examples of Japanese loan words?
In addition to common words like “bus” and “toilet,” there are also many more unusual examples of Japanese loan words. Here are a few you may not have heard of:
・キャンセル (kyanseru) = cancel
・マイナス (mainasu) = minus
・プラス (purasu) = plus
・テーマパーク (te-mupa-ku) = theme park
・エコ (eko) = eco-
・カーゴ (ka-go) = cargo
・ジム (jimu) = gym
・バイオ (bai-o) = bio-
・ビデオ (bideo) = video
・ブランド (burando) = brand
・マンション (manshon) = mansion
・ライブ (raibu) = live
・ワイヤレス (waiyaresu) = wireless