“Recycle” Japanese English/「リサイクル」和製英語

Standard

Japanese has something called wasei eigo literally “Japanese-made English”), which means words that seem to be English (eigo), but are not. These words came from English originally, but the meaning has been changed to a distinctly Japanese meaning.

What?

I know, it’s confusing. So, here is an example.

Recycle (risaikuru)

In English, recycle is to take something that is old or used and to make something new from it (e.g. paper, plastic). In wasei eigo, recycle, such as in the term recycle shop (リサイクルショップ), means second-hand. A recycle shop sells second-hand goods for a profit.

英語が話せる人が和製英語を聞いたら、ちょっと分かりにくいところがありますね。英語の言葉だけど、和製英語の意味は普通の英語とちょっと違いますね。

例えば?

私が最初に聞いた、この和製英語の意味ちょっと間違いましたね。

リサイクル (recycle)

英語だと、リサイクルの意味は再循環っていう意味ですね。リサイクルショップの意味は最初に分かりませんでしたね。リサイクルショップは英語だとthrift shopって言いますね。リサイクルって、再循環の意味もあるかな?知りませんけどね。

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