Easy Peasy Japaneasy - どこまでカタカナ?
Easy Peasy Japaneasy

Let me share with you some real stories happening to students –
how much do you know about Japanese language and its culture?
小さいコリンズ…? しばし考え、それが「Little Collins Street」だと分かった時、受付は爆笑の渦でした。でも、それから気付きました。何でも日本語にしたがる学習者は結構多い、という事を。
「基本的には、外国で作られて、日本語にその言葉がなければ、外国語(カタカナ)がそのまま使われます。ですから、外国で作られたものや外国にある地名は、英語をそのままカタカナにして使いましょう」と言えば、じゃ日本には昔、チョコレートがなかったんですか!? ケーキも? アイスクリームも!? 昔の日本人はかわいそうだ、とエリーさんは同情し始めてしまいました…。
Katakana – Used to describe a word of foreign origin
“Hi Eri, your shoes are nice! Where did you get them?” I asked Eri, a student at Japaneasy. “A shoe shop on Little Collins Street.” He replied but it took me a long time to understand what he said because... He said “Chiisai (which means “Little” in Japanese) Collins Street”.
We Japanese people usually say “Little Collins Street”. It sounds really cute so we just laughed a lot then. Since then, I have noticed that some students tend to over-translate into Japanese, for example:
“What are you drinking?”
“Atsui (meaning hot) chocolate desu”.
It sounds cute but we never say it. It is not so easy to understand which one to use for students.They might start translating "Great Ocean Road" or "Flat White" into Japanese! (We just say “Gureeto ooshan roodo” “Furatto howaito”)
Basically, Katakana is used for words that originated outside of Japan and for which there is no suitable Japanese word. Therefore, let’s use Katakana for things that are made in foreign countries and for foreign place names! Then Eri said, "Wow, then old Japanese people never try chokoreeto(chocolate)? Keeki(Cake)? Aisu kuriimu(Ice cream)?? Poor ancient Japanese people!" The story became sympathetic...
Another day, I had a chat with Eri again.
“How did you come here today?” I asked.
“Yama-Jitensha (Mountain bike) desu.” I was sure that Eri said this on purpose this time- just to make me laugh though!
Japaneasy logo Japaneasy 日本語学校Mr. MouriMs. Fujita
M: 0422-266-308
W: www.japaneasy.com.au
Level 1, 152 Little Lonsdale St. Melbourne
Japaneasy日本語教師養成講座420時間コース 受付中!