I am always fascinated by the Japanese language.
I think it is one of the most unique languages in the world! One point that interests me is the way Japanese is written.
Some languages use phonetic scripts, such as Korean and Arabic.
Some languages, such as Chinese, use logograms to depict ideas and words.
What I like about Japanese, is that it uses a combination of the two.
Of the three writing systems used in Japan, today I am going to focus on the origin of some katakana loan words.
Recently, I discovered that many katakana loanwords are of Portuguese origin.
I was interested to learn that many Portuguese words entered Japanese
during the Muromachi period (1337-1573) when the first group of Europeans reached Japan.
Let's take a look at some examples.
パン Portuguese -Pão
オランダ Portuguese -Hollanda
イギリス Portuguese -Inglês
ボタン Portuguese -Botão
In my search to learn about the origin of some other common words used in Japanese,
I was equally interested to find that some are of German origin.
These words often sound very similar to the English equivalent.
(I actually thought that they were borrowed from English for a long time!) Some examples are.
Thanks for reading and see you in class soon!