Maybe you were talking with someone in US, and you got a strange look and an “Excuse me??”. The so called “English” words we use may only be understood by other Japanese people! I would like to share 10 “Japanese Engrish” words I hear quite often :
There are many students that have part time jobs. The Japanese-Engrish word used is “Albeit”, which is actually a German word. In US, let’s use the word “Part time job” instead
When we cheer people on, we use the term “sending a ‘yell'”. The word “yell” simply means to scream out loud, so it doesn’t necessarily mean to root for someone. Let’s use the word “cheer” instead
- Fried potato
We all love “fried potatoes”, but this doesn’t translat directly. If you just say “fried potato”, there’s no indication on ‘how’ it was fried. In US we call this “French fries”. The back story to this is that during World War II, the US forces were marching through France towards Germany when they discovered the “French fries”. However, they did not realize that they had already advanced to Belgium when they discovered this, so they were calling th Belgian fries as “French fries”
All elementary kids have a Randsel, but this is not used by people in US. In US, it is better to refer to them as “Back packs”
Zubon is said to either come from a French word meaning a womens undergarment or because of the sound it makes when ou put your leg inside the trousers. Either way, this word is not used in the US. In US, you should refer to them as “Pants, or Trousers”. So “Zubon” is “Pants”, and “Pants(Japanese for underwear” is “Underwear”
In Japan we wear “mufflers” on our necks during winter, but in US they are called “Scarfs”. “Muffler” in US refers to a part of an exhaust system on a car
The power outlet is called a “Consent” in Japan, but the word “consent” means “to agree”, so let’s use the word “Outlet, or Socket” instead.
- High tension
In Japan we said that we are in “High tension” when we get excited, but actually that does not have a good meaning in the US. There is “High” “Tension”, so it is a high pressure situation
Because of digitalization, there is less need for a Hotchkiss, but we still see them at workplaces and schools. Offical name for these are “staplers”. The first staplers to come to Japan were made by Hotchkiss company, and there were the words “Hotchkiss” imprinted on the side, so this name became more popular in Japan
Many people in Japan live in “Mansions”. In US, the mansions refer to very large houses, so they are quite different from the “Mansions” we think of. Let’s ues the word “Condominium, or Condo” instead
Let’s be careful when we use English words we know. If you are unsure, you can talk with someone who has lived in the US like myself!
#海外で通じない #和製英語 #アメリカ