I can just about understand how the French definite article “le” ends up as “ru” in Japanese, as it is probably closer to the pronunciation than a Japanese “re” would be in that case, but there is no way that the first syllable of Renoir in French sounds like “ru”, to give one of many examples.
I kind of am a waseieigo expert, though I say so myself. Actually, maybe otaku is a more suitable word for my obsession, and as to the rest of the Japanese language, that’s another matter…
Anyhoo, you can digest most of my hundreds of hours of collecting Japanese English in just a few minutes by reading one or two of my recent articles etc on the matter:
How Japanese English Works (an overview)
There’s also my A to Z, linked to from one of the posts below and now finally up to Z
August 27, 2008 at 2:55 pm (Confucius Lives Next Door, Gairaigo, Japan FAQs and SAQs, Japanese business and economics, Japanese company names, Japanese English, Japanese food and drink, Japanese language, Japanese pronunciation, Japanese shops)
This is one I’d been wondering about on and off for a while, then by chance came across the answer to.
According to Confucius Lives Next Door,the company chose to call itself “31″ in Japan as that is easier to pronounce, although as in Japanese it is written as サーティワン (saati wan) they were at best half successful. Like most written English, the words Baskin Robbins, which although not the official name are plastered all over the stores, are totally ignored
I’m guessing it’s simply because there are no suitable ways of saying “down there”, whereas お尻( “oshiri”- honorable bottom) fits fine on the button to spray the backside. Any other info or idle theories anyone?
As usual with my “What the Japanese really mean?” posts, the idea is that you read the Japanese and literal translation and then try to guess what they mean in English before scrolling down the page to check. Have fun (I did)!
Literal translation- Japanese pronunciation of the words “one pattern”
Meaning Read the rest of this entry »