A U.K. company named Johnson Banks has come with an ingenious way to include English pronunciation in Japanese katakana characters. The company has dubbed this new font cleverly as “Phonetikana,” where each katakana character featured a few English letters to help English speakers say the word properly.
The company started incorporating the new font in simple words like “banana” and “tomato” but also showed what longer phrases such as the “sound of something spinning” would look like. The first simple example that company showed is the katakana characters for Uniqlo versus the new Phonetikana.
It’s a really brilliant idea, and I’m sure it will be incredibly helpful for so many people who are trying to learn Japanese.
The name Michael
Uniqlo in Phonetikana
Doki Doki =the sound of my heart beating
Kuru Kuru=sound of something spinning
Toppu banana=top banana
Biggu Appuru=big apple
Everyone loves Engrish, and everyone enjoys lampooning the machines that create it and the silly humans who wear it.
Is it as funny when the tables are turned? What happens when non-Japanese deck themselves out in clothing with unintelligible characters on it, only to have the true meaning outed on the web for all to see?
▼”Soft Freeze” . . . while I peacefully slice my pink slime . . .
▼”Bride Hunting” . . . how ’bout it, babe?
▼”Beware of Perverts! Dangerous People Afoot!”
▼”Red Forest” . . . when “Bride Hunting” isn’t doing the job . . .
▼”Giant Penis” . . . sample my Large Root?
▼”I am a stupid American.”
▼”I am Japanese.”
▼”My life is hell.”
▼Trendiest “Loose Panties” VS New Face “Tight Panties” . . . Hey, Engrish belongs to US!!!
▼”What else but Louis Vuitton?”
▼”Full-On Wear and Tear” . . . from a man beaten down by life.
▼”Flamboyant Delight” . . . true ballerz rock the Green Car with Jiyuseki non-reserved tickets.
▼”Pay this jerk” with Adidas on his bum!
▼An “Oh-Crap-We’re-Pregnant Marriage” (Japanese answer to “shotgun marriage”)
Ariana Grande is a rising star that many are calling a “mini-Mariah Carey.”
Launching onto the world stage after an incredibly successful run on the Nickelodeon show, Victorious, she is quickly gaining fans around the world with her solo music career. She has quite the following in Japan too, with her most recent album, My Everything, peaking at #3 on the weekly Oricon Music charts. And while Japan can’t get enough of her songs and her extremely long hair (extensions), there is something else that her Japanese fans are talking about these days: Ariana Grande is learning hiragana.
Though she has a reputation of being a diva, there is only one word that Japanese fans use to describe her: KAWAIIIIIIIIIII (CUUUUUUTE)
And having been to Japan many times herself, Ariana Grande is very familiar with the concept of “kawaii.” In fact she’s quite fond of Japan, proudly claiming on Japanese TV that she loves edamame, tofu and the eclectic Japanese singer, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. And Ariana Grande is making sure her fans know that her love of Japan extends beyond her screaming Arianators. Her recent Instagram post conclusively separates her from all the other young female singers from America.
ARIANA IS STUDYING JAPANESE!!! Countless news outlets and fans have written about how she is studying Japanese since that pictured was posted. She seems dedicated to her studies as well, having downloaded a Japanese keyboard on her phone.
But, whether she is seriously studying Japanese during her busy schedule or just taking a swing at learning hiragana, her Japanese fans can’t get enough of it.
Ariana Grande has definitely captured the hearts of her Japanese fans, and she assures them that she will be back in Japan soon.
Who knows how far Ariana’s foray into the Japanese language will go. Perhaps she will surprise her fans with a homemade handwritten sign professing her love for Japan at her next concert.
▼”I love Japan!”
We’ve talked before about handy Japanese words and phrases we wish we could toss around in English. This kind of linguistic jealousy doesn’t flow in just one direction, though. Japanese businesspeople regularly make use of a number of English phrases, either because they’re more concise, precise, or just sound cooler to their ears than their Japanese counterparts.
Sometimes, though, knowing English isn’t enough to understand these loanwords, since their pronunciations can get pretty garbled in the transition from English to Japanese speakers. Feeling confident in your ability to translate English translated into Japanese back into English? Read on and see how many you can decipher.
As a quick primer on how the pronunciation of English loanwords gets corrupted, it’s important to remember two things about the Japanese language. First, there are a handful of sounds that just don’t exist in Japanese, most famously “l,” but also “v,” “si,” “du,” and “th,” to name a few.
Second, with a few exceptions such as “cha,” “tsu,” and “shi,” and combinations with “n,” you can’t have two consecutive consonants in a single syllable, meaning that each consonant always comes with a vowel sound attached to it. Combined with the complete lack of certain sounds we mentioned above, this is why, for example, technology giant Apple gets pronounced “Appuru” in Japanese (the double ‘p’ indicates a delay a fraction of a second long before the second syllable, in case you were wondering).
Okay, no more hints. It’s time to get this quiz started!
Starting off with an easy one, this is “agree.” For example, when asked his opinion regarding an offer, your Japanese coworker might give his stance as agurii. Sadly, this one can cause confusion amongst lower-level Japanese English speakers as “agree,” “ugly,” and even “angry” all sound remarkably similar to their ears.
If whoever’s calling the shots is ready to agurii, he’ll probably let his counterparts know that he’s ready to komitto, or “commit” to the project. Once again, the double consonant here denotes a pause a fraction of a second long before that particular syllable. Try tokomitto that rule to memory, ne.
Of course, a cornerstone of Japanese workplace harmony is making sure everyone in the organization is on the same page, which is why business deals tend to take longer here than in many Western countries. Odds are, even if the person you spoke to in the meeting seemed enthusiastic about your offer, before he can komitto he’ll have to go back to his office and make sure there’s a konsensasu (“consensus”) among the rest of his coworkers.
Of course, no matter how good the proposal sounds, it’s always necessary to make sure your business dealings are all above-board. To that end, you’ll want to research any relevant regyureeshon, or “regulations” (which loses its terminal “S” because Japanese vocabulary doesn’t differentiate between singular and plural nouns).
Of course, just reading and familiarizing yourself with the regyureeshon isn’t enough. You’ll also need to check the items of the contract against them to make sure everything is in a state of konpuraiansu (“compliance”). Why is compliance written in Japanese with an “n” and not an “m”? Like we said, all Japanese consonants except “n” come with a vowel attached, so if they’d used an “m” , or rather a “mu“, the already vowel-packed word would have ended up being komupuraiansu. Yikes.
6. besuto efooto
Finally, if everything checks out, once you sign the contract and it’s time to get to work, it’s imperative that every member of the team give his or her besuto efooto/best effort.
After all, in the modern, competitive marketplace, that’s the only way to succeed in business, or bijinesu, as the Japanese call it.
Heard any other borrowed business words in office Japanese? Let us know in the comments section below!