10 Mysterious Japanese Vocabularies that English Speakers Don’t Understand
10 Weird Japanese Vocabs
Japanese use weird vocabularies and expressions that come from another language.
Below are 10 Japanese vocabularies that English speakers find difficult to understand. Most Japanese believe that those are English words.
Without knowing unique Japanese vocabularies or expressions, Japanese face difficulties communicating with English speakers.
Have you heard any of those below?
This means part-time job. It’s not English at all! It’s from German “arbeit” which means a part-time job.
It’s used like this:
2. サラリーマン (さらりーまん:sarari-man)
It’s a combination of Salary and Man= Salary man.
Totally Japanese English! It just means office workers.
Below are examples:
3. OL (おーえる:o-eru)
OL stands for Office Lady, which English speakers don’t use at all.
It means female office workers.
Someone might use like:
4. コンセント (こんせんと:konsento)
What’s konsento? If you hear how Japanese say it, you might feel confused.
It is a socket or wall outlet.
Example would be:
5. チャック (ちゃっく:chakku)
It means zipper. Chakku is used in Japan only.
It sounds like “check.”
6. 段ボール (だんぼーる:dan-boru)
It sounds like some sort of ball? It’s not ball but cupboard. The reason why Japanese call cupboard dan-boru is because Mr. Inoue, who made first cupboard in Japan in 1909, used to put them in layer.
Dan-boru literally means layered cupboards. But somehow Japanese people couldn’t hear “board” correctly and changed it to “boar” then “boru.”
Somebody might say:
7. ホッチキス (ほっちきす:hocchikisu)
What? Hocchi Kiss?? Is it a kind of kiss?
It’s a stapler and Japanese use this because the first staplers imported to Japan was carried by E.H. Hotchikiss in USA.
Hocchikisu is also used in Korea.
8. ノートパソコン (のーとぱそこん：noto-pasokon)
Pasokon means computer, which is abbreviation of personal computer. So it’s “Note Computer.”
It means laptop.
You can say something like:
9. アパート (あぱーと:apa-to)
It comes from apartment. Its meaning is similar to apartment in English, but it’s smaller like studio or bachelor and usually 2-3 floors.
Some are very cheap and have no shower. Thus residents are usually young individuals.
10. マンション (まんしょん: manshon)
It means condominium in English. It’s taller and bigger than Apato.
And it’s more expensive to buy or rent. Although it comes from English word “Mansion,” Manshon in Japan is used for a block of apartment.
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