Words Japanese mistake for English22 November, 2011 by Chad
While researching on wasei-eigo for a second, more interesting follow up to our popular Made In Japan English article, I came across this survey by search engine Goo where Japanese netizens answered what words they were previously most unaware of actually being Japanese Engrish.
#1. Order Make
Actually, Custom Made though Made-to-order now sees use in the English language, especially in Asia.
One of the words brought up in our previous article. Refers to personal contact but carries the extra meaning of being something valuable to the Japanese (Skin + Friendship).
Power Outlet. Derived from shortening “Concentric Plug”. Not quite what you’d expect when asking for consent in Japan.
#4. Key Holder
Your usual Key Ring or Chain.
#5. Power Harassment
Bullying. Sometimes wasei-eigo does a good job at shortening stuff but often fails as much.
#6. Decoration Cake
A fanciful decorated cake.
#7. Guard Man
#8. Coin Laundry
Laundromat. Arguably makes more sense than the English counterpart.
Would make sense if it wasn’t only used to refer to building renovations.
A re-match in any game or sport
Waseo-eigo is actually pretty handy, sometimes being clearer than the original words but ends up being confusing when they take the form of actual English words with a different meaning.
The rest of the answers and what they really mean.
#11. Grade Up
#12. Number Display
#14. Free Size
One Size Fits All (Has been absorbed into most Asia vocabulary by now)
#15. Mug Cup
#16. Baby Car
#17. Mail Magazine
#18. Note Pasocon
#19. Panty Stocking
Enthusiasm (Used as a noun, such as “Idol Mania” referring to an obsession of idols)
#21. One Pattern
Used as an adjective to refer to someone with a repetitive manner
#22. Fried Potato
#23. 3 Size
BWH (Breast, Waist and Hip measurements)
#24. Plus Alpha
Additional Value (Usually used as slang for bribe)
#25. Paper Test
Fantastic (Just a misspelling)
#28. Radio Ca-se
Derived from Radio and Casette but actually refers to Boomboxes
#29. Televi Game
#30. Gasoline Stand
The list of wasei-eigo constantly grows with time and this survey was taken quite a while back and so my not be an accurate depiction of the state of Japanese English today. But it still shows some of the principal offenders.
Information collected from Goo Rankings.
Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2.