Hi everyone, it’s Min here 🙂
戸惑う“gairaigo” in English?英語の中の外来語をご紹介！
It is commonly said that there are many 外来語 or foreign words adapted into the Japanese language, but have you thought about the “gairaigo” in English?
Growing up, there were certain words that did not sound English to me and their meaning were also surprisingly difficult to guess, even when used in a sentence. I remember the very first word I had trouble with was “impromptu”.
Me: What did you get up to over the weekend?
Friend: My dad took us on an impromptu trip to the country(side).
Me: Oh wow…
As I didn’t know what “impromptu” meant, I couldn’t really say much. When I first heard of the word, I thought it meant “important” or “serious”. Never would I have thought that it’s something you do without preparation or on the spur of the moment.
I did an impromptu speech in front of thousands of people.
I had an impromptu sleepover at Sarah’s last night.
Other examples for me were “forte”, “guru” and “deja vu”.
“Forte” (French): a thing at which someone excels in
E.g. History is my forte.
“Guru” (Arabic): a person with knowledge or expertise
E.g. James may be ten years old, but he’s already an automobile guru.
“Deja vu” (French): a feeling of having already experienced the present situation (sparks memory)
E.g. When I first met Annie, I had a feeling of deja vu.
“逆gairaigo” in English?日本語由来の外来語だってある！
“Karaoke” (pronounced carry-okee) is another foreign word that is widely used by all English speakers, just like how “sushi” and “sashimi” are!
Many words in the English language originate from languages like German or French. Thus when learning English, you are probably subconsciously learning other languages too and I think that is pretty cool.
Hi, I am Min and I live in Melbourne, Australia.
I am a freelance translator and during my time off, I like to run, swim and do crafts.