Seminar 1,Judy Yoneoka
There is a lot of Japanese English in Japan. These words are not
understood in English, and they cause misunderstandings, because Japanese
English comes from Japanese original ideas. It is originally English, but
somehow Japanese people change English into Japanese, which is easy to
understand for them.
There are many types of Japanese English in Japan. For example,
1:reduction words (personal computer→pasokon)
2:loan words (an apartment house→mansion)
3:Japanese general idea (couple→two shot)
We tend to think we use these words without knowing that they are Japanese
English. So we may get into trouble by using these words when we talk with
someone in English. Now, in order not to be in trouble about it, let’s research
these words with dividing them into some categories.
Ⅱ: What types of words are there in Japanese English?
Japanese English hasn’t coherence, so there are lots of types. For example,
homonym type, omission type, superfluous type, compounds type and mixed
In this paper, we can compare ①reduction words, ②loan words and ③the
words which were made by Japanese general ideas, because these words are
the most popular types among Japanese people.
Ⅱ-1. Reduced words
These words aren’t English; but come about as a result of being contracted
from the original English. We also have superfluous words in Japanese English,
but Japanese people tend to be fond of omitting words, so they made more
reduction words than superfluous words. There are three types of reduced
words: ① Words with latter half part omitted. ② Words with first half omitted.
③ Two words with one or both last parts omitted.
① Words with latter half part omitted.
－In these words, their latter half parts are omitted.
Table 1. Words with latter half part omitted. (Japanese English and Standard
② Words with first half omitted.
－In these words, their first half parts are omitted.
NEKKU Bottle neck
SISUKO San Francisco
Table 2. Words with first half omitted. (Japanese English and Standard English.)
③ Two words with one or both last parts omitted.
－In these words, their head parts are fixed only.
RIMOKON Remote control
WAAPURO Word processor
SEKUHARA Sexual harassment
ENSUTO Engine stall
EAKON Air conditioner
OOBAASUROO Overhand throw
Table 3. Two words with one or both last parts omitted. (Japanese English and
Ⅱ-2. Loan words.
These words have the same spelling and resemble the pronunciation of real
English, but they have entirely different meanings. There are also three types of
loan words: ① Word with meaning completely changed. ② Words with
meaning narrowed. ③ Words with meaning widened.
① Word with meaning completely changed.
－These words changed the meaning of real English, completely.
Smart Slim, slender, stylish, well proportioned.
Mansion Apartment, flat, studio.
Talent TV personality, TV celebrity.
Cunning Cheating, cribbing, crib, phony.
Morning service Breakfast special.
Table 4. Word with meaning completely changed. (English and its Japanese
② Words with meaning narrowed.
－These words changed from their real meanings into narrowed ones.
Single An unmarried person
Handsome Cool, neat
Local Home town
Table 5. Words with meaning narrowed. (English and its small Japanese English
③ Words with meaning widened.
－These words changed from real meanings into widened.
Y-shirt (white shirt) Colored shirt
Car Chair, carriage, buggy
Up Increase, rise, hike
Down Decrease, cut
Table 6. Words with meaning widened. (English and its big Japanese English
Ⅱ-3. Japanese general ideas.
－Each of these components of these word combinations are real English, but
they can’t be understood in English, as a result of being combined with each
other. It is said that this type of Japanese English is the most popular type in
Salary man Office worker
Pocket bell Beeper，pager
Skin ship Physical contact
Decoration cake Fancy cake
Two shot Couple
Table 7. Japanese general ideas. (Japanese English and English)
It is said that there are over 10 percent of imported word in Japanese words.
Also, these imported words include about 80 percent of English-related words.
We like to create a lot of new words in Japan, and also we tend to make long
words into short ones. I found that this type (reduced words) of Japanese
English holds a large majority. It is said that this is a large feature of Japanese
I’m interested in Japanese English, so I studied various kinds of materials. But
this time, I was overwhelmed it’s numerous numbers of Japanese English, over
again. And as an English student, I think this study will be useful for us. Because
this report shows you the differences between near Japanese English and real
A: Kobayashi, Tadao. (1999) / Katakanagono shoutai (The true colors of
Katakana words, in Japanese.): Maruzen Library.
B: Matsuda.H, available
What is Standard English? ; http://www.nsknet.or.jp/~hide0508/ca/janglish.html
as of Oct.2001
C: Nozumi, Sachiko. (1998) / Nihonsyakaini afureru katakanago (Japanese
English is overflowed in Japanese society, in Japanese.): Shinpuusya.
D: Passin, Harbert. (1982) / Eigokasuru Nihonsyakai (Japanese society is
changing English speaking society, inJapanese.): Saimaru Shuppansya
E: Uemura,Y. (2000) / ”English” Made in Japan, unpublished ms.available
emura.rtf as of Oct.2001
F: Yamada, Masae. (1995) / Americajinno shiranai eigo (English which American
people don’t know it, in Japanese.): Maruzen Library.
G: Yamada, Masae. (1996) /Americajinni tuujinai eigo (English which can’t be
understood in English, in Japanese.): Maruzen Library