Why ‘Wasei Eigo’ doesn’t make sense?

What is Wasei Eigo?

和製英語…Wasei Eigo

和製 Wasei: Japanese produced

英語 Eigo: English

Have you ever heard Japanese people use something unique word which is pretty much similar to the English word…?

That may be a Wasei Eigo! They’re probably believe that it is an English words, although it’s misunderstanding.

Historically we have imported a lot of foreign words from variety of place, mostly which is described in Katakana. As long as Katakana words is existing, people may believe that those words are from English language.

Here is an example:

Casher: Hello, do you need a bag?

Maiko: Yes, can I have a vinyl bag?

Casher: What???

Maiko: I mean… the vinyl-material bag.

Casher: We only have a paper bag or plastic bag.

Maiko: Yes, plastic bag please….!

Vinyl bag…?

As far you are aware of, the miscommunication occurs between English speakers and Japanese speakers frequently. The one of the reason is because we use Wasei-Eigo.

Here is another example. The situation is which Emilie is visiting a Japanese doctor in Japan.

Doctor: Do you have a Pin Set at home?

Emilie: What is that?

Doctor: which is a device can be used when you remove a tiny part, just using a two forces of fingers.

Emilie: Ah, a tweezer, isn’t it?

Doctor: Tweezer…let me google it….

Yes, this is exactly what I am talking about.

Tweezer in Japanese, we call that Pin Set. Originally French use ‘Pin Set’ and we had imported that word.

tweezer or pin set?

Every time facing to that kind of English-like words ( Wasei-Eigo) which totally doesn’t make any sense for you, please ask what exactly it is like Emilie does! so that we may reduce the number of miscommunications.

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