our office... japanglish.org is not strictly the language organization our chosen handle may imply. Yes, japanglish.org is a repository of definitions and etymologies, touching upon aspects, pointing out instances, and/or making light of disparities between Japanese and English language, but societal and cultural divides will also be our realm; where words lose context and worlds collide, careen off of each other, clash, overlap or whiz by over each others heads. Japanglish.org will also sometimes offer topics or express views which may not otherwise find a forum. We'll squeeze in left-wing, left-field or unpopular subject matter; the likes of which Japanese people may not themselves openly speak nor even be aware, whether out of denial or ignorance. Not always confined to "Japan" itself; we will cross borders to impart topics from afar. No "country" represented here; japanglish.org occupies its own world ; its own bubble, perhaps?

The best anyone can expect from mainstream Japanese media are words of encouragement in support of their own or furthering a national (corporate?) agenda or tradition (if often only for the sake of tradition), but theres a place for tradition and a place not for tradition; japanglish.org is not that place. The best anyone can expect from Japanese television "programming" is just that: programming. Keep the huddled masses pleasantly entertained (i.e. distracted) with cheap laughs. Ignorant bliss as status quo. The best reporting of Japan is therefore most likely to come from remote coverage: japanglish.org's ringside seat. But even a ringside seat is far enough to report neutrally about whats happening within and without the "ropes"; warts and all, for better and worse.   

Neither mistake nor misunderstand our motives: We love Japan, Japanese people, and the society. No intended contempt directed; we'd do the same wherever. It may sometimes seem otherwise, but japanglish.org was not established for the purpose of Japan-bashing. We may more often laugh at than laugh with, but we will be fair, and we will be nice. Because? We know Japan. And in defense of views put forth here, we care about Japan and hold high regard for the people and the culture. We live in Japan. Risk damage to reputations by airing potentially blasphemous views? No wish to be banished from Oz. Chigau; wishing to participate. japanglish.org is Japanese. Call it Upstanding Citizenry. Tough Love. Consider japanglish.orgthat  source.

O. Lebron  February 2014


These English words are commonly used and understood by Japanese people, albeit as pronounced with a Japanese accent when spoken and spelled out phonetically using Japanese Katakana when written (Katakana spelling is provided). Their definitions correspond to that of the English word. *A separate list explaining nuanced usages and/or abbreviations follows. 


Known in Japan by Japanglicized versions of the name of the inventor or company who popularized the invention. As new technologies go global, many countries identify inventions in this manner, with the name entering that country's lexicon for posterity. As if calling a light bulb an Edison

BARIKAN \ hair clippers (usually electric) \ バリカン 

Bariquand & Marre (France)  

BUROMAIDO \ bromide (photograph) \ ブロマイド  

Nuanced usage of the transliterated "bromide" photographic processes to refer to the glossy photographic prints marketed to promote celebrities (outdated but sometimes used esoterically). 

HOTCHIKISU stapler \ ホッチキス 

E. H. Hotchkiss (USA)     

KURAKUSHON car horn \ クラクション  

* Not the inventor's name, but the patented brand name Klaxon 

RENTOGEN X-ray (medical) \ クラクション 

Wilhelm Röntgen (Germany)  

SHĀPEN \ Sharp pen \ シャーペン \ 

Mechanical pencil; references the Sharp company.  Sometimes also SHĀPENSHIRU (Sharp pencil \ シャープペンシル). 



contact: japanglish.org@gmail.com


Japanglish.org・Launched 2014・Tokyo, Japan・Published by Orlando Lebron and Mahozawari UNlimited / Founding partner Ronald Bell

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KATAROGU \ catalogueカタログ  

KĪBŌDO \ keyboardキーボード

KONPYŪTĀ \ computerコンピューター    

KYANPĒN \ campaignキャンペーン

MANEJĀ \ manager \ マネジャー  

PĀSENTO \ percent \ パーセント   

PURO \ pro \ プロ 

RAIBARU \ rival \ ライバル 

SHISUTEMU \ system \ システム   

SUKEJYŪRU \ schedule \ スケジュール  

Straightforward Transliterations Business & Workplace

All of these words remain true to their English definition; only pronunciation is altered for Japanese phonetics. A separate list explaining nuanced usages and abbreviations follows this list of straightforward transliterations.

Y O U R  A D  H E R E

・JST, Tokyo (UTC+09:00)

free clock for website


found in translation


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FĪDOBAKKU \ feedback \ フィードバック

"Very intelligently written… you seem knowledgable of your subject … but often come across as angry, or condescending toward Japanese people."  California, USA

japanglish.org replies: We've noted that we, too, are Japanese; otherwise half-Japanese or married into Japanese families. We all have a minimum of 20 years living in Tokyo, if not born here outright; working among the locals, not just hanging out at the gaijin-catered clubs, nor the Hubs' nor International parties frequented by most "expats", otaku, or newbies to Japan. "Angry" and "condescending" are poor generalizations. 

"Came across your site while searching "Japanglish". Interesting; educational; entertaining; thought provoking; funny, too! Like the way you tell it like it is, I've yet to read such bold views about Japanese culture. Have you not come up against opposition? Hope you can keep it up!"  Canadian in Tokyo

japanglish.org replies: Indeed, we've "come up against opposition". Some take our constructive criticism far too seriously. Others don't grasp the concept of tough love; that we wouldn't be in Japan if we didn't care. Regardless, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by filling this void in Japanese reportage, be it humorous or dead serious. 

comments & submissions encouraged... japanglish.org@gmail.com

contact: japanglish.org@gmail.com

​APO \ appointment \ アポ  

Abbreviation of the English APPOintment.  Common as business jargon and print-ad copy, condensed to fit time or space constraints. Lengthy words such as "appointment" take on additional syllables when fully phoneticized as Japanglish (apoinTOmenTO \ アポイントメント).

BABURU \ bubble \ バブル
Nuanced use of the English word.  A period in Japan when the value of the Japanese yen was extremely strong; any similar "boom" times.  

BAKKUNANBĀ \ back number \ バックナンバー

Back issue of a magazine.

BIRU \ BUILding \ ビル

Abbreviation of the English word.  The full word may be utilized (building \ ビルディング), though rarely. 

BEDDOTAUN \ bed town \ ベッドタウン

Suburbs; exurbs; commuter towns. Outskirts of a metropolitan area; in Tokyo, Saitama et al. 

BIJINESUHOTERU \ business hotel \ ビジネスホテル

Budget accommodations.  

DORAIBĀ \ driver \ ドライバー

Usually SCREW driver.  Also, motor vehicle driver, and a type of golf club. 

DORU \ dollar \ ドル   

Transliteration corresponding to the word's English definition; the unit of money.

FURĪDAIARU \ free dial \ フリーダイアル

Toll-free phone number.

FURONTO \ front \ フロント

Front desk of a hotel et al.

GYARA \ guarentee \ ギャラ  

Nuanced usage of the abbreviated English word GUAREntee; a contracted payment.     

INFURE \ inflation \ インフレ   

Abbreviated transliteration corresponding to the word's English definition; the rising cost of living. Sometimes fully pronounced INFURĒSHON \ インフレーション.

KAMERAMAN \ cameraman \ カメラマン
Photographer.  The Japanese pronunciation of "photographer" is also commonly used and understood (FOTOGURAFĀ \  フォトグラファー). 

KAMERAWĀKU \ camerawork \ カメラワーク   
Nuanced usage corresponding to the English jargon; one's way of using a camera.

KYATCHIFŌN \ catch phone \ キャッチホン
Call waiting.  *F often pronounced as H in HOme. 

KYATCHIKOPĪ \ catch copy \ キャッチコピー
Advertisement tagline; Slogan. 

MAINASUDORAIBĀ \ minus driver \ マイナスドライバー
Flathead screwdriver (-) *See also PURASUdoraibā (+).

MASUKOMI \ mass communication \ マスコミ
Mass media (news); the press. 

MŌNINGUKŌRU \ morning call  \ モーニングコール
Wake-up call, as at a hotel.  

NŌKURĒMUNŌRITĀN \ no claim no return \ 

An as-is sale. 

NŌTO \ note \ ノート
Commonly refers to a laptop computer ("NOTEbook" computer), abbreviated from NŌTOPASOKON (see below).  Also, a notebook (i.e. book for taking notes). 


Laptop computer (see below). 

ŌDĀMEIDO \ order made \ オーダーメイド    
Nuanced abbreviation corresponding to the English phrase "made to order".

PASOKON \ PERSOnal COMputer \ パソコン
PC; standard home computer. 

PATORON \ patron  \ パトロン
Supporter.  Transliteration corresponding to Japanese phonetics.  Also (vulg.) a rich regular of a hostess club girl. 

Beeper (outdated technology). 

PURASUDORAIBĀ \ plus driver \ プラスドライバー
Phillips screwdriver; i.e. the "plus" sign (+).

RIPĪTĀ \ repeater  \ リピーター
Return customer.

RISAIKURUSHOPPU \ recycle shop  \ リサイクルショップ
Nuanced compound of the English words, describing a second-hand store; a for-profit store selling used goods. 

SĀBISU \ service \ サービス
Complementary; "on the house"; free of charge.

SAIN \ sign \ サイン
Signature; Autograph. (*Note: rarely used to define a "placard" or "signboard"; in Japanese, KANBAN \ 看板). 

SARARĪMAN \ salaryman \ サラリーマン
Businessman; company employee on a salary. 

SEKUHARA \ SEXual HARAssment \ セクハラ
Contraction of the English compound word.

SHĪRU \ seal \ シール
Sticker; decal. 

SOFUTO \ soft \ ソフト
Computer SOFTware. 

WĀPURO \ WOrd PROcessor \ ワープロ
Combined abbreviation of English words (outdated technology). 

ZEMINĀRU \ seminar \ ゼミナール
Usually abbreviated as ZEMI (ゼミ). 

BUSINESS & WORKPLACE  listings continue above-right  
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CおんTりぶとRS  Contributors   O. Lebron  World, Topics, Dictionary・R. Bell  World, Topics・Kaji Rie  Culture, Dictionary・S. May  Art / Design・Lennie Mace  Japanglish101, Sumo, DictionaryE. Lee  Dictionary, Human Resources

The first & only website to provide comprehensive listings of definitions, etymology, instruction & more.

BĀGEN \ bargain \ バーゲン  

BIJINESU \ business \ ビジネス    

CHIKETTO \ ticket \ チケット    

CHIPPU \ tip \ チップ   
ESUKARĒTĀescalator \ エスカレーター  

GAIDO \ guide \ ガイド     

GASORIN \ gasoline \ ガソリン  

GUZZU \ goods \ グッズ  

INKU \ ink \ インク    

JĀNARISUTO \ journalist \ ジャーナリスト    

KAMERA \ camera \ カメラ