Home » Segments » Wasei-Eigo, Japan-Made English

Wasei-Eigo, Japan-Made English

Play episode

Leo, a scientIst in Tucson, Arizona, used to live in Japan, where he often heard Japanese speakers using English that wasn’t quite correct. For example, one Japanese friend described someone “full of worry” as scareful. Another used paper driver to refer to “a person who has a driver’s license but doesn’t drive.” Wasei-eigo is “Japanese-made English,” in which hai bijon (ハイビジョン) literally “high vision” can mean “modern,” and amerikan doggu (アメリカンドッグ) means “corn dog.” English and Japanese have long borrowed from each other. The English word skosh, for example, comes from Japanese sukoshi (少し), a “little bit.” This is part of a complete episode.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More from this show

Catillate, Agelastic, and Latibulate

Inkhorn terms are bloated, fancy, show-off words formed by cramming Latin and Greek roots into English. The name references little bottles made from animal horn that 14th-century English scribes used to carry their ink. Lexicographer Henry...

All Out Are In Free!

Kylie Ryan, an elementary-school teacher in Seattle, Washington, remembers that when she played hide-and-seek as a child, the call for everyone to come in was alle alle oxen free. Are there other versions? Yes, and because these sayings were not...

Segments