Almost a quiz problem! Abbreviations are abundant in Japan

Is it because Japanese culture value minimalism and simplicity? Japanese people seem to be very enthusiastic in shortening the words.

For instance, we call a remote controller ‘Remo-Con’ and a smart phone is usually called ‘Sma-Pho’ in Japan.

Even the world’s big names have been converted into Staba (Starbucks) and Bana-Ripa (Banana Republic).
Will Mr Brad Pitt ever know that he is most commonly called ‘Bra-Pi’ in Japan?!

Often the words are abbreviated paying no attention to English syllables so it would sound quite peculiar for the people who speak English; they are rather created much depends on the sound and rhythm.
Isn’t it another curious example that the Japanese popular music duo called ‘Dreams Come True’ is abbreviated to ‘Dri-Cam’?
I was personally very impressed when I discovered that ‘La-Nove’ meant light novel.

Training shoes become ‘Tre-Shu’ and basketball shoes are ‘Basshu’, while basketball sport is simply shortened to ‘Baske’, you may say ‘I belong to a Baske team’.


This is not a recent trend

We can easily recall the huge cultural movements which had sought for alternative form of art that characterised 1960’s when we pronounce Sab-Cal (subculture) and An-Gra (Underground).

Since the use of abbreviation is even more accustomed than its original form, if you say the word as it was supposed to be called, it even sounds somewhat awkward and cumbersome to the hearing.
When cinema complex is called ‘Cine-Con’ and mass communication is called ‘Mass-Comi’, they sound more live and fit in colloquial conversations. People hardly say brainstorming but ‘Bre-Sto’ and mental training can be ‘Men-Tre’.

When you come to Japan, have fun to pronounce the quirky sound of ‘Pote-Chi’.
You will be served with Potato Chips.

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Tamaki SAITO(西東たまき)

Born in Tokyo and raised in Chiba prefecture. I'm excited to reveal the Japan's life behind the scenes that you can hardly learn from the regular sources. Let me hear how far it worked from your side!