11 December, 2015

Made-in-Japan English

I have a nasty headache this afternoon, probably a combination of causes. On top of being tired, I've had an extra busy, stressful week. Muscle tension is almost always a contributing factor to my headaches and my neck has tensed up this afternoon. Additionally I'm wondering if a sudden increase in the temperature this afternoon contributed to the bad mix: today was more than seven degrees warmer [see here] than yesterday.

Anyway, I've been saving a photo of some Japanese-English to show you.

We found this display of tyres at an expressway way-side stop in an area where it snows. It shows the different types of tyres you can use in the snow. Left is obviously chains. Then one of those two middle ones is sutaduresu (I can't read the labels, and it's been a long time since I took this photo)

This is an example of English transferred into Japanese and the Japanese people assuming that English speakers will be familiar with it. I was confronted by this one at language school. The teacher assured me that it was English, but after failing to guess what the word meant the teacher explained and I assured him it wasn't English where I came from!

Another one I came across the other day was peersu. It means "earrings". I was complimented on my peers. It was obvious from the context what was meant, but it could have been thoroughly confusing.

This article has some other confusing Japanese words that have been borrowed and modified by Japan.

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