Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Mar 10 03:40:12 UTC 2001

>I found that a lot of the borrowed words I learned in my first Japanese
>classes weren't actually used in everyday Japanese...

>I was amazed that the Japanese words for so many common everyday items
>were actually English loan words.

There's a range of loans, from many which are absolutely common and usual
everyday Japanese to many which are invented as a sort of word-game, like
British students used to play with Latin. I find this very interesting and
amusing, although no doubt my understanding is superficial. I've posted a
few examples here previously -- including some which are clearly not
everyday Japanese but probably sort of student jokes. How many Americans
can make puns in Japanese?

There are a number of Web sites devoted to "Engrish" -- 'humorous'
applications of English in the Japanese home market. One good one is


... Anybody recognize "Sawaday" (katakana "sawadee") (item #28)? "Sour
day"? Could it be Thai ("sawatdi")?

-- Doug Wilson

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