Fashion in Japanese English / ファッションの和製英語

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Japanese has something called wasei eigo (和製英語, 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.

Today’s wasei eigo theme is fashion (a topic near and dear to my heart)!

Free Size / furii saizu / フリーサイズ

Free size means one-size-fits-all. Sizes are different in Japan than in the US, and one size fits all is also slightly different. Japanese sizes run small, so Japanese free size is smaller than one size fits all in the US.

「よく、フリーサイズはフリーじゃないと聞きますがフリーサイズってどれくらいのサイズからどれくらいのサイズまでなのですか?」

“You often hear, ‘Free size is not free‘ But from what size to what size actually is free size?” or “You often hear, ‘One-size-fits-all does not fit all.’ But what size range is one size fits all?”

*American sizes are about 5 times bigger than Japanese sizes. So, although free size may not quite be an American L, the American one-size-fits-all is probably at least bigger than a Japanese LL (equivalent of an XL).

Order Made / oodaa meido / オーダーメイド

It’s order made and not “order maid” (these can sound the same in Japanese pronunciation), and it refers to custom made or made-to-order items. This can refer to things outside the fashion world, such as furniture, but also clothing and accessories (gloves, socks, etc.)

「結婚式のためにオーダーメイドのスーツを注文しました。」

“For my wedding, I ordered an order made suit.” or “For my wedding, I ordered a tailor made suit.” Continue reading

Education & Work in Japanese English / 教育や仕事の和製英語

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Japanese has something called wasei eigo (和製英語, 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.

Today’s wasei eigo theme is phrases related to school and work.

Over Doctor / obaa dokutaa / オバードクター

In English, this sounds like a doctor who is much to involved in health care. But in Japanese, this refers to someone who is over-educated, particularly someone who is unemployed and holds a PhD.

「最近、この国でオーバードクター問題が社会問題になりました。」

“Recently, the over doctor problem has become a social issue in this country.” or “Recently, the amount of underemployed, over-educated people has become a social issue in this country.”

Parasite Single / parasaito shinguru / パラサイトシングル

Continue reading

“My” Phrases in Japanese English/「マイ」から始まる和製英語

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Japanese has something called wasei eigo (和製英語, 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.

Today’s wasei eigo theme is phrases that begin with “my”.

My Pace/mai peesu/マイペース

In English, hearing this expression would translate into something like “to do something at my own pace.” In Japanese, it means to do something one’s own way, without influence from other people. It can be used as an adverb or a verb, but it’s most commonly used to describe someone’s attitude.

「田中さんはマイペースだよ。」

“Tanaka is my pace.” or “Tanaka does it his own way.”

My Boom/mai buumu/マイブーム

Continue reading

Food in Japanese-English/和製英語食べ物

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Japanese has something called wasei eigo (和製英語, 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. Today I’m going to list some wasei eigo names for familiar foods.

American dog (amerikan doggu/アメリカンドッグ)

An amerikan doggu is a corn dog.

Ice (aisu/アイス)

Aisu is a short form of ice cream. You can also use the longer form aisu kuriimu (アイスクリーム), but I prefer asking if someone wants to eat ice!

Ice candy (aisu kyandii/アイスキャンディー)

The term aisu kyandii refers to popsicles AKA ice lollies.

Hotcake (hotto keeki/ホットケーキ)

A hotto keeki is a pancake.

Fried potato (furaido poteto/フライドポテト)

French fries AKA chips are known as furaido poteto.

Juice (juusu/ジュース)

When my friends asked me to buy juusu for a party, they didn’t mean fruit juice, but rather soda. It can also be used for energy drinks.

Sand (sando/サンド)

Rather than the full sandoicchi (サンドイッチ) you can just shorten sandwich to sando.

Soft cream (sofuto kuriimu/ソフトクリーム)

Sofuto kuriimu is soft serve ice cream.

Now I’m really hungry, so I’m going to go find something to eat!

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。今回、食べ物について書こうと思いましたよ。

アメリカンドッグ

アメリカンドッグじゃなくて、英語でcorn dogって言うね。

アイス

アイスとアイスクリームは英語でice creamでしょね。アイスが良いやすいから、仲良くアメリカ人の友達と一緒にiceをよく使うけどね(笑)

アイスキャンディー

アイスキャンディーはアメリカでpopsicle、イギリスでice lolliesと言うね。

ホットケーキ

ホットケーキは英語でpancakeと言うね。アメリカでパンケーキとメープルシロップは大体朝ご飯の食べ物でしょね。

フライドポテト

アメリカのフライドポテトはfrench friesって言っても、フランスから来てないって聞いたよ.

ジュース

日本語のジュースは英語のsodaけど、英語のjuiceはフルーツジュースと言う意味ですね。

サンド

サンドイッチとサンドは英語でsandwichと言うね.

Soft cream (sofuto kuriimu/ソフトクリーム)

ソフトクリームは英語でsoft serve ice creamって言うね。

ま、今はお腹減ったから食べに行きまーす!

 

 

Want more? Check out my other wasei eigo examples! 他の和製英語はここです! About/アバウト, Recycle/リサイクル, Cunning/カンニング

What other wasei eigo have you heard? Did you misunderstand it when you first heard it? Let me know in the comments!

他の面白い和製英語は何でしょうか?間違えた英語は聞いたことありますか?コメントで教えてください!

“About” Japanese English/「アバウト」和製英語

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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.

About (abauto)

In English, the word about has a lot of meanings. When I first heard it in the wasei eigo context, the meaning that came to my mind was the meaning as in “about 400 people.” So around, approximately, etc. In the wasei eigo context, it means something different. If you look it up in the dictionary, the definition is “lackadaisical” or “sloppy.” Sloppy, lazy, etc., I think is the best way to describe this word. If someone does things sloppily, for example, they don’t put their best into their job, they are “abauto” (pronounced like about+o).

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。

アバウト (about)

英語だと、アバウトって色々な意味がありますね。初めて聞いた時、絶対「約」って言う意味が頭に出て来ましたね。和製英語の意味だと、英語の ”sloppy” とか “lazy” という言葉があってますね。店員さんとかの場合だと、 they are not doing their job well とか言えますね。

Want more? Check out my other wasei eigo examples! 他の和製英語はここです!Recycle/リサイクル, Cunning/カンニング

What other wasei eigo have you heard? Did you misunderstand it when you first heard it? Let me know in the comments!

他の面白い和製英語は何でしょうか?間違えた英語は聞いたことありますか?コメントで教えてください!

“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。

“Cunning” Japanese English/「カンニング」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.

Cunning (kanningu)

In English, cunning means something like achieving a goal by a clever but deceptive method. In Japanese this might be something like ずるい (zurui) or ずるがしこい (zurugashikoi). In wasei eigo, cunning means cheating, like on an exam or homework. It’s used as a noun カンニング (kanningu), but also can be used as a verb if you add –する (-suru) (to do) – カンニングする (kanningu suru).

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。

カンニング (cunning)

英語だと、カンニングの意味は日本語のずるいとかずるがしこいっていう意味ですね。和製英語の意味って、英語だとcheatingって言えば良いと思いますね。名詞だと、cheater (カンニングした人)、動詞だと、to cheat (カンニングする)でしょ。

What other wasei eigo have you heard? Did you misunderstand it when you first heard it? Let me know in the comments!

他の面白い和製英語は何でしょうか?間違えた英語は聞いたことありますか?コメントで教えてください!