GJ on YJ for TCOB.
One of the first things you learn when studying Japanese is that the language incorporates four different writing styles: Chinese-derived characters called kanji, the basic phonetic script of hiragana, its simplified version katakana, and even the English alphabet which is called romanji.
▼ “Tokyo” written in all four styles
It’s the last two that can create the most confusion among Japanese speakers – Romanji because it’s essentially a foreign language, and Katakana because it’s usually used to bring foreign loanwords together. in Japanese. As the world becomes more global, these borrowings are coming to Japan much faster, making it difficult for some people to keep up. In such cases, the easiest solution is to go on the internet and search for “What is…”
Knowing this, Data analyst Tomohiro Ogawa of Yahoo Data Solution set out to find the most popular queries for alphabetic and katakana buzzwords to see which ones have entered the national consciousness over the years by measuring which ones have been the most searched for in the context “What is…” This can be a measure of how quickly these words are gaining popularity, but also a warning that they may not have become household terms yet.
For words composed of letters of the English alphabet, acronyms were the most searched. This year NATO at the top of the list, obviously due to the invasion of Ukraine which dominated the headlines, it was followed by the often talked about sustainable development goals or SDGs established by the United Nations, and NFT which also appears more frequently in advertisements and news reports.
▼ The top five alphabet word results of the past nine years
SRSor “social networking service”, what the Japanese most commonly refer to as social media, is still surprisingly researched despite the term’s spread, but appears to be in decline.
The additions of purely Japanese words made from letters of the English alphabet are also interesting. The name of the popular musical duo Yoasobi briefly entered the top five in 2020, and from 2014 to 2018 featured DQN, an Internet slang term that could perhaps be translated as “cretin” or “cretin” in the sense of a rude and not very intelligent person. It is usually found in writing but can be pronounced as “dohkoon” and originates from a 90s TV show that featured characters who could be described as DQN.
Looking at the katakana words, there was a much more diverse group. Again because of the war in Ukraine”Propaganda” was the most searched word when rendered in Japanese phonetics. It was followed by “essential workerwhich honestly seems a little late to the party at this point in the pandemic. In third place was “subscriptionin reference to Netflix and similar business models. Fourth place goes to “metaverse“and in fifth was”defaultwhich has most of the same usages in Japanese as in English, such as “default settings”, “default on a loan”, and even the feeling of being thrown out of a tennis match.
▼ The five best results of katakana words of the last nine years
These top 5 were a sign of the times like the list for 2020: “pandemic,” “subscription,” “band,” “telework,” and “confinement.” Business names also figured prominently, such as electronic payment services PayPayflea market app Mercariand instagram. IT terms tended to fill in the gaps with words like “hashtag,” “To add,” “storage,” “attached,” and “Account.”
It just goes to show that when communicating with Japanese speakers using these terms can be hit and miss so next time you need to tell someone how your Instagram account is linked by default to your metaverse subscription as storage for your propaganda NATO NFTs that you plan to sell to DQNs through Mercari and other SNSs, you should probably think of another way to say it, just in case.
Source: Yahoo Data Solution, PR Times
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Insert images: PR Times (unless otherwise stated)
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