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  • Hello English learners! Welcome back to the English with Michael YouTube channel.

  • I've started a new series recently, which covers loanwords from other languages that are now commonly used in English.

  • Today I'm going to talk about the language I know most about but still not enough, and that is Japanese.

  • There are many, many Japanese words in English that we commonly use today.

  • Now a lot of these words are very specific Japanese things.

  • Like there are many related to food, of course, such as sushi, or sashimi.

  • And there's many related to sports and martial arts like karate, we say in English, karate, karate.

  • Although it's a little bit different than how it's pronounced in Japanese.

  • And many of these lone words are not really everyday words. They're not really that useful.

  • Some of the most common Japanese loanwords are perhaps some that you already know, like tsunami, karaoke, or anime.

  • These kind of words are really common, and a lot of people know them.

  • So today I wanna talk about some words that you might not know come from Japanese.

  • So I'm going to talk about where it comes from and how we can use it today in English.

  • So yeah, I should mention that before we get into it too much. That this is not a video about learning Japanese. I'm not the right person to come to for that.

  • The main focus here is English.

  • And I will give you a little bit of background about where it comes from as well.

  • So the first word we can look at is the English word "tycoon". A tycoon. This is a noun.

  • This comes from the Japanese word "taikun". Taikun. I had never heard it before, actually in Japanese, but it means like an emperor or a king or something like that.

  • In English, it means like a wealthy or powerful person, especially like a leader of a business or something like that.

  • I remember when I was younger, I was obsessed with a game called RollerCoaster Tycoon.

  • So the idea of this game is you are... you are the park tycoon. You're the owner of these businesses. And you're building these rollercoaster parks. So you are the roller coaster tycoon.

  • If you know someone who owns a lot of property, a lot of houses, you can say they are a property tycoon.

  • So let me know in the comments if you know anyone who you could describe as a tycoon. Maybe they're powerful and successful people.

  • The next word that comes from Japanese is the word "honcho", honcho.

  • And this is another one that I never have heard of before in Japanese until researching for this video.

  • And this comes from the Japanese word "hancho", "hancho". So it sounds very similar.

  • And in Japanese, it just means like a group leader or something like that.

  • In English, it's quite similar. It just means someone in charge of something. And it's really, really, really common in the phrase "head honcho".

  • 'Head' such as headquarters or the head of an organization, and then we have honcho.

  • So if you are the head honcho, you are the person in charge.

  • So for example, I could say I am the head honcho of this organization. It does sound a little bit obnoxious, like I'm the one in charge! Me! No one else! I'm the head honcho.

  • So maybe it's better to talk about it with other people rather than yourself.

  • Another example is as a verb, I think this is much less common. I don't really hear this very often.

  • But we could say the meeting is honchoed by him, is honchoed by him.

  • There's the passive form. And that just means the meeting is led by him. He is in charge.

  • The next word is one that you probably have heard of, because maybe it's the same in your language as well.

  • This is the word "zen", zen.

  • And this comes from, I think, actually is quite interesting.

  • So according to my research, it comes originally from Sanskrit, and then it was loaned into Chinese, and then to Japanese, and now to other languages such as English.

  • So this word has a really long history of moving from language to language.

  • The original meaning is something like a quiet meditation.

  • So one of the reasons why so many words are loaned from Japanese and other languages into English, is where there are words that don't really translate.

  • There's not really any equivalent word in English for Zen.

  • And there's many other examples of this kind of stuff.

  • And I think that's why Zen has become so popular, the word "Zen", anyway.

  • So of course there are meanings of Zen there related to Buddhism, so we say 'Zen Buddhism', but in a more kind of everyday sense, Zen just means peaceful or calm. It's an adjective for peace and calm.

  • So you could say, I feel really zen today. I feel really zen. It kind of just means I feel calm.

  • But maybe it's like a level higher than calm. So when you think of the word zen, you're thinking of a Buddhist monk who is meditating.

  • I feel like everything is at peace. There are no problems in the world. And now I'm sure this is quite different to how it's used in Japanese.

  • But yeah, this word has been loaned and has taken on somewhat of a different meaning, I suppose.

  • So when was the last time you were feeling Zen? How did you get into that mood? Let me know.

  • Okay, two more words. Now, the next word is "emoji", emoji.

  • Now, this is taken directly from Japanese in Japanese is emoji, emoji.

  • I'm sure most people know the meaning of this word emoji, right? It's... they are so popular these days, you cannot avoid them.

  • So these are the smiley faces that you have on your smartphone.

  • When I was younger, we had a different word. We had the word emoticon, emoticon.

  • This is a portmanteau two words coming together, emotion + icon.

  • And that word actually stretches back quite a few decades. It's quite an old word, relative to other computer words.

  • But I don't know why it was dropped. You know, we don't have these emoticons anymore. We have emojis.

  • It's the same thing, but we use the word emoji. I think it's just cuter, it sounds nicer.

  • Emoticon sounds a bit too robotic and formal. So I don't know why we changed.

  • But in Japanese, "e" means like a drawing or picture or something. Moji means a letter of the alphabet.

  • So literally, it just means a drawing letter, something like a picture letter, right? So it's kind of expressing that emotion in one picture.

  • So it's quite a simple word, emoji is a noun, but I want to ask you guys: Tell me your favourite emoji. Leave a comment below with your favorite emoji. That's your challenge.

  • Mine is just a simple laughing face laughing and crying. I love that emoji.

  • Okay, the final word today is the word "futon". futon.

  • It's pronounced pretty much the same in Japanese. In Japan, a futon is like a special mattress that many Japanese will sleep on.

  • Western futons, however, are a little bit different, they're a little bit more uncomfortable.

  • Futons are often sofas that fold into beds, or something like that. Usually it's a spare bed. So it's the kind of thing you might give your guests when they come to stay.

  • And they're going to be much harder and less comfortable than a Japanese futon from what I understand.

  • But I'll put a picture on the screen here to show you what a futon is, at least in the western sense anyway.

  • But yeah, there we have it. Those are my words, only five words today.

  • And again, the reason is mostly because most Japanese loan words are food related or sports related, or they're really not that common, actually.

  • So it's quite surprising. Japan has had a big effect on the English language, but not as big as some other countries.

  • So which was your favourite word from today? Let me know.

  • And, final request for you guys: Let me know what language I should do next.

  • If you like this video, then I'll be more than happy to continue the series and picking new language.

  • Maybe I do a European language next time. So let me know don't forget to check out my Chinese video up here.

  • And thank you for watching. Hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you in the next one. Goodbye.

Hello English learners! Welcome back to the English with Michael YouTube channel.

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A2 US japanese zen emoji language karate related

5 English Words That Come From Japanese

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    Julianne Sung posted on 2021/10/19
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