05 June 2006

Japanese for Half-Assed People III

This is one word I'm determined to introduce into the English language!

Conbini: コンビニ: (kon-bee-nee): n. convenience store.

I love this word because it's very kawaii. "Convenience store" is so bland and boring –and also not very convenient for being so long.

Japanese people love shortening words and making abbreviations, so the word conbini comes from CON-VE-NIence store (there's no 'V' sound in Japanese, so they had to change that bit). Another example; SEXUal HARAssment becomes sekuhara.

Here are some more of my fav Japanese abbreviations. Can you figure them out?



dawn davenport said...

Ahhhhh....nihongo wa chou benri na gengo desu ne!!! And I love it when you hear: "hello!" answer: "hot!" or "how are you?" answer: "cold!" or "can we meet on friday?" answer: "difficult", etc. Gotta love those one word answers

tokyo tintin said...

my favourite was always:

ME: "how are you?"
STUDENT: "how are you?!"

meredith said...

"Bodega" instead of "convenience store" has made me very happy hear in NYC. The english language needs to get something going on this issue!

tokyo tintin said...

also there is "dep" from "dépanneur" in montreal, but again with no wider english cross-over.

maybe that's because in france a "dépanneur" is the person you'd call if your car broke down on the side of the highway. france-french people find this amusing to no end; to say you're going to buy some milk and bread at the auto mechanic's.