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


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.


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.




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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