Japanese is a large and difficult language to learn, but you may be surprised by the number of borrowed words used by Japanese people. Check out our article to see the kinds of foreign names for items that Japanese people use.
Japan has become one of the largest economies in the world and that was helped greatly by opening its doors to more foreign countries. This has allowed businesses to flourish and has given the country a wide assortment of new items to eat, use, and interact with. Some of these foreign items have been given new names on Japanese while others have retained their original names and have had them added to katakana. These things range from household items to names of business and foods. Even if there was a Japanese word for it, they will usually use the borrowed name of the thing. In 0hem.
Much of the Japanese business and the models that they used to create the industries were brought from western countries. They have thought up their names or had a Japanese equivalent but have decided to keep most of the original names to make sure there is a clear difference between the two. This is helpful when you are looking for certain places and can’t speak Japanese well.
Hotel- ホテル(ho-te-ru)- There are a few types of hotels that you will find in Japan. The major one that most travelers prefer is our ryokan, traditional Japanese hotels. They have traditional rooms with tatami floors, serve traditional Japanese meals, often have in suite baths and futon beds. They tend to cost more than other hotels, but offer a great way to spend your time in the country.
Hotels will be found closer to western-style businesses. The rooms are usually large enough to fit the capacity described by a number of occupants comfortably. They frequently offer ammentities such as free breakfast, gyms, pools, or computer areas for guests to use. These hotels are generally reasonably priced and can be found in any area that you may want to stay in.
Capsule hotels have been gaining in popularity over time and many travelers want to try staying in one at least one time. They are novel in their design in that it offers the customer the minimum necessities which allows the price to be kept at below-average rates.
Love hotels are unique not only in name but their function. They exist to give couples a quiet place to be together and they work as discreetly as possible. They tend to be a bit more expensive and are filled quickly.
Shopping Mall- ショッピングモール(shop-pi-n-gu-moo-ru)- Shopping malls are almost exact copies of the western versions. The layouts are generally the same and they have many of the same kind of stores found in the US. They all have supermarkets in them and they all have a general goods area as well.
Super Market- スーパーマーケット(suu-paa-maa-ket-to)- Supermarkets are another business that did not change from the western version. You can find all of the basic Japanese foods, and some stores carry import goods.
Certain foods have kept their original names as well. Some have still been adjusted to make it easier for Japanese people to say. This ranges from dinners to snacks and is known by all Japanese people.
Hamburger-ハンバーガー(ha-n-baa-gaa)- Hamburgers in Japan have become a popular meal and snack. There have been a few Japanese burger restaurants that happened over time. The major difference in Japanese hamburgers is the mix. Japanese burgers are typically a mix of beef and pork to help cut down on beef dependence.
Corndog-アメリカンドッグ(a-me-ri-ka-n-dog-gu)- Since this was introduced from the US and eaten at baseball games the corndog was given this new name. The only difference in how they are made is in the batter. Japanese corndogs are made with more batter and breading and it is usually sweet. The wieners taste the same and the price of corndogs at the convenience store is always 100 yen.
French Fries-フライドポテト(fu-ra-i-do-po-te-to)- These are same as the fries found in the US. The Japanese have not changed the way the fries are cooked or prepared.
Pancake-パンケーキ(pa-n-kee-ki)- Pancakes are a little different when you get them made in the Japanese style. Japanese pancakes are thick and almost the same consistency as regular cakes. They won’t usually come in stacks and just as one big one on a plate. These are usually eaten during dinner or lunch and not for breakfast.
Soup-スープ(suu-pu)- When they use the term soup it usually refers to western soups like onion soup or corn soup. In Japan the word miso refers to any soup. The soup aisles will have choices but there isn’t a wide variety to choose from.
Steak-ステーキ(su-tee-ki)- Steak is a high priced meat in Japan. They have limited room for agriculture, and cattle farming is difficult to do at all. Beef is usually high quality as well and you can be guaranteed that it is some of the best that you can buy.
Many appliances were introduced from the US after the second world war. The design and quality have been improved upon since the original designs and the products continue to improve.
Television-テレビ(te-re-bi)-Televisions have been a major part of the Japanese economy. The name was shortened to make it easier for Japanese people to pronounce.
Toilet-トイレ(to-i-re)- The toilet in Japan has changed from the traditional in-ground toilet that you squat over to use to the more western style toilet. Western-style toilets have become the norm throughout the country.
Computer-コンピューター(ko-n-pyuu-taa)- Computers have been another large staple of the Japanese economy. These items have been used by everyone and continue to evolve.
Printer-プリンター(pu-ri-n-taa)-Printers are another large part of the Japanese economy. Fax machines are still used by the majority of business transactions and documents.
There are many other words and names that Japan has decided to keep the same as the western version. Most of these were kept to make it easy for people to pronounce. Some words become to difficult to say when using the katakana speaking style. You will encounter more words as you travel or live in Japan. You will be surprised at how many there are.