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American English Influences Japanese

Keiko Endo
Photo:
Sandy Peters

These days, many Japanese-English words appear in the major newspapers as well as in our daily conversations. The number of words is rapidly increasing all over the county.

 

Keiko Endo from Japan

Not only American products, but also the American language, English, influences our culture in Japan. It is, however, a pity that we use incorrect English expressions and words with incorrect pronunciation. This is called "Japanese-English," which is mixed with Japanese and English languages. For example, cuto (the proper Japanese is Kawaii) means "cute" in English. Gesto (the proper Japanese is okyakusan) means "guest."

They are very similar, but a little different in pronunciation. These days, many Japanese-English words appear in the major newspapers as well as in our daily conversations. The number of words is rapidly increasing all over the county. I found incenchibu in the Japanese newspaper a few moths ago. This means "incentive" in English. I assume that most of the Japanese, including highly-educated people can hardly understand what this word means.

We should not easily change our language usage just for fashion. My parents use a "Japanese English-Japanese" dictionary, but always complain about this phenomenon. It must be very difficult for older people to understand the meanings. I believe that language is one of the most important aspects of our cultures, and we should keep it. We need to consider what we need and what we do not need.


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