Japanese, an internationalized language

最終更新: 1月27日

It’s no surprise that Japanese language takes a lifetime to learn especially if you come from Brazil. On the other hand, Portuguese and Japanese are pretty similar.


The language was very useful in the Nagasaki Port by the time the Portuguese explores arrived in the early 15th century. Both sides absorbed each other’s vocabulary by establishing direct trades. In the beginning, the main trades were goods and costumes not only from Portugal, but also from China. Eventually, the spoken idiom became the first of many Garaigo (外来語, or loanwords) used in Japanese business and on a daily basis till now.


Even though some Portuguese words like Kasutera (カステラ. Originally, Pão de Castela or Bread from Castile) are still being used in Japan, they are no longer part of their home country dictionary. Overtime they turned to idioms that only Japanese people recognize!


Primarily, most of the Garaigo today is in English, not only in Japan but all over the world. So, all languages have the power to influence each other when they’re in transit.


Once incorporated, they always change their spelling … like Kabocha (南瓜). In Brazilian Portuguese, it is written Cabotiá. Or like, “blue” in Japanese Romanized Characters, is written Buruú. And sometimes, they just don’t make sense… like Hotchkiss (ホッチキス), named after a stapler manufacturing company from Connecticut.


Loanwords are a fast and super funny way to learn other languages every time you recognize them. Tchau!


Emilio Murata

Vocabulary:

Absorbed - 夢中になった、没頭した、(…に)夢中になって、没頭して

Establishing - 設立する、 創立する

Incorporated - (…を)(…と)合体させる、合同させる、(…を)(…に)合併する、編入する、法人組織にする、(…を)(有限責任)会社にする、(ある団体に)加入させる、する、具体化する、(…に)組み入れる

Influence - (…の)影響、感化(力)、勢力、権勢、威光、「コネ」、影響を及ぼす人、勢力家、有力者、誘導

In transit - 輸送中

Lifelong learning - 生涯学習

Make sense - 意味をなす、意味がとれる、道理にかなう、有意義である

Named after - に因んで

On the other hand - 他方では、これに反して

Tchau! – イタリア語チャオ!(Ciao!)の外来語

Recognize - (…を)(事実であると)認める、認知する、承認する、(…を)認める、はっきり知る、認める、(以前知っているものと同じだと)わかる、見覚えがある、(見て)思い出す、会釈(えしやく)する

Similiar - (...と)似ている、(...と)同じようである、(...と)同類である

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