Title

Wasei Eigo: Japanese Words Lost in Translation

Presenter

Matthew Hirano

Abstract

Traveling in Japan, someone accustomed to the often single-language culture of the United States might be surprised by the common appearance of English words in Japanese media and literature, and across many registers of Japanese speech. Wasei eigo means “Japanese-made English,” and refers to words or phrases that may have some origin in English but have been incorporated into Japanese usage with a new meaning. Words frequently cross the language barrier into (and out of) the Japanese lexicon. With the particular example of mistaken English translations on official signs outside Kyoto Station, one can begin to see the charm, flexibility and new interpretations that come with the adapted usage of wasei eigo.

Faculty Sponsor

Ron Takemoto

Tracks

Japanese Language and Culture

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Olin 129

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 11th, 2:00 PM Apr 11th, 2:15 PM

Wasei Eigo: Japanese Words Lost in Translation

Olin 129

Traveling in Japan, someone accustomed to the often single-language culture of the United States might be surprised by the common appearance of English words in Japanese media and literature, and across many registers of Japanese speech. Wasei eigo means “Japanese-made English,” and refers to words or phrases that may have some origin in English but have been incorporated into Japanese usage with a new meaning. Words frequently cross the language barrier into (and out of) the Japanese lexicon. With the particular example of mistaken English translations on official signs outside Kyoto Station, one can begin to see the charm, flexibility and new interpretations that come with the adapted usage of wasei eigo.

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