Contributed by Bruce McCutcheon

 

ONE POINT LESSON:  'Katakana' words in English

 

Have you ever used a 'katakana' word when speaking English to a foreigner and been surprised that they didn't understand you? There are three reasons for this:

 

1.   Not all 'katakana' words come from English.

For example アルバイト meaning 'part-time job' comes from the word 'Arbeit' which means 'work' in German. Most native English speakers have never studied German and so probably won't understand you!

 

2.   Some 'katakana' words have a different meaning in English.

For example in English, a 'mansion' is a really big, expensive house in the countryside, not an apartment!

 

3.   The pronunciation is different.

For example ケイキ should be pronounced 'cake' and サラダ should be pronounced 'salad'. In other words, the final 'i' or 'a' sound of most 'katakana' words should be dropped when speaking English to help people understand you better.  

 

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