Common confusions with borrowed words from European languages in Japanese

These are the words that I most hear Japanese using when speaking in English, thinking that they are borrowed from that language when they actually come from other European tongues. Knowing them can help you communicate with the Japanese in both English and their own language:

アンケート Ankeeto = enquete (French)= A survey
アルバイト Arubaito (Ger.)= arbeit = A temporary job
バカンス Bakansu = vacances (Fr.) = holiday

ブランコ Bulanco (Port) = a swing
バリカン Barikan = Barriquand (brand name) = hair clippers
ビロード Biroodo = veludo (Port.) = velvet
チャック Chakku = zip (Port)
ダンボール Danbooru = cardboard
デッサン Dessan = dessin (Fr.) = rough sketch
ドイツ Doitsu = Deutch (Ger.) = German
ドナウ川 Donau kawa = the Danube
エーゲ E-ge = Aegean
エゴ Ego (short e sound- from German)= ego (with ii sound in English)
エネルギー Enerugii (with hard g sound Ger.)= energy (with j sound in English)
エネルギッシュ Enerugisshu (Ger.)= energetic
エステ Esute = esthetique (Fr.) = plastic surgery or beauty salon
ゲレンデ Gerende (German) = ski slopes

ギプス Gipusu (German) = plaster (on broken leg etc.)
ゴム Gomu = gom (Dutch)= rubber
カレールー Karee ruu = curry roux (French?) = curry powder
カルテ Karte (German) = medical records
カステラ Kasutera = Castella (Spanish or Portuguese)= sponge cake
キリスト Kirisuto (Port.) = Christ
コンクール Konkuru = concours (Fr.) = competition

コンセント Konsento= electrical socket
コント Konto = conte (French) = little story/ skit

メス Mesu = mes (Dutch) = scalpel

ミイラ Miira (Port) = a mummy
ミサ Misa = missa (Latin) = (church) mass
モルモット Morumotto (Dutch) = Guinea Pig

オランダ Oranda = Holland/ The Netherlands
オルゴール Orugooru = music box (Dutch orgel)
ペンキ Penki (Dutch) = paint

ピーマン Piman (Portuguese) = a green pepper
ピント Pinto = focus
プチ Puchi = petit (Fr.)= small
プラチナ Purachina = platina (Spanish) = platinum
ランドセル Randoseru = randsel (Dutch) = school satchel
レントゲン Rentogen (German) = X ray

ロマン Roman (French for “a novel”) = spirit of adventure

サラダ Salada= salad

テーマ Tema (German) = theme
トローチ toroochi= lozenge
ユダヤ Yudaya = Judea (Latin) = Jewish
ズボン Zubon = jupon (Fr.) = trousers

ゼミナール (often shortened to zemi) = Zeminar (German) = seminar

Links

About.com borrowed words in Japanese

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