Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Is that your MY CAR?

Sometimes a word Japanese took from English is hard to recognize because of the weird pronunciation, but sometimes you recognize the word but it has a slightly different meaning then expected...

Japanese: マイカー
Reading: maikaa
Meaning: privately owned car
Literally: from English - my car.

So yeah, I imagine that at some point in time, this conversation in English took place between some English speaking foreigner and a Japanese.

Japanese dude: ee?! sweet ride! Is that your parents car?
English dude: Nope, all mine.
Japanese dude: 'mine'? 何? your company car?
English dude: No man, it's MY CAR, I own it, I bought it.
Japanese dude: Aっ! なるほど!It's your maikaa, ne.

That's why in Japanese now you can say stuff like "my father's my car is cool".

Japanese dude: "I don't have my car and I don't live in my home"
English dude: "Eh? who DOES have your car and where the hell DO you live if not in your home?"

Yeah... it goes for home as well.

Japanese: マイホーム
Reading: maiho-mu
Meaning: privately owned house/home
Literally: from English - my home

A while ago I walked down some street in Tokyo and some person who does marketing for some Internet company asked me: "Do you have my internet?". Nope, I don't use other peoples' internet. I have my own.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

V Neck, T Intersection and the number Ten

You know how in English we sometime use a letter only for the shape of it?
Like, U magnet, V neck, T shirt and even "one Oh one" instead of "one zero one"...
So check out this word in Japanese.

Japanese: 十字
Reading: juuji
Meaning: cross
Literally: the letter (kanji) 十

The meaning of the letter is the number ten, but that's not the point. Clearly it is used here only for it's shape and would have probably been used even if the meaning was fried melon.

In English, we could have called a cross a "straight X" (or "tilted X", depending how you look at it) or maybe a "jumbo plus" :D.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A look into the Horizon

Let's look into the Horizon...
Wait, but which one?
What do you mean which one? There's only one, ne?

Ah Ha! Wrong! In Japanese there are two kinds of horizons and two different words for them.

Japanese: 水平線
Reading: suiheisen
Meaning: horizon, when talking about water
Kanji: water flat line

Japanese: 地平線
Reading: chiheisen
Meaning: horizon, when talking about land
Kanji: ground flat line

Now let's relax and sip some tee while looking at any horizon you can get your eyes on.