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This is a selected list of
Japanese words that appear to be foreign borrowings (known as in Japanese), but are in fact words with Japanese origins. This confusion can stem from a number of causes. gairaigo Katakana are typically reserved for words of foreign origin, but are sometimes used for Japanese words of modern or irregular formation. In addition, some Japanese words bear coincidental similarities to words in other languages (known as false cognates).
Examples [ edit ]
thank you combination of
aru ("to be" or "to exist") combined with the verb ending gatai (implying the difficulty of performing the preceding verb), modified to gatō Similar but no relationship, to the Portuguese word "Obrigado" (Thank you).
ばば （婆） or ばばあ
baba or babaa
old woman (the latter having a derogatory sense) regular Japanese word
similar to the term баба
baba (meaning " grandmother") in Russian and Polish, and a number of other words with similar meanings in many other languages (see mama and papa)
zipper, a zip-fastener (UK) 巾着 (
kinchaku) (meaning 'a purse' or 'a money pouch')
bicycle short form of
charinko (also meaning bicycle), a word whose etymology is still a matter of debate sometimes mistakenly identified as a shortened form of the English "
hungry wolf 餓 (
ga - hungry) + 狼 ( rō - wolf) similar to a
French word, " loup-garou", that means " werewolf"; " garou" (OF "garulf") is cognate with the English.
Information, evidence reversal of the Japanese
tane, meaning seed, cause, origin
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
et al. (1998). Sanseidō New Modern Dictionary (, Tokyo, Japan: Sanseido Co., Ltd. 三省堂現代新国語辞典 sanseidōgendaishinkokugojiten) ISBN 4-385-14034-0.