The term Japanglish refers to ‘made in Japan’ English words not understandable to native English speakers. Inevitably, being in Japan for a number of years you tend to become Japanified which entails small and subtle changes in speech, manner and eating habits. This maybe also includes understanding Japanese speakers of English better than those not in Japan and possibly being able to work out their intended meaning. That was what I thought anyway until I used an article by Alex Case (taken from my schools teachers newsletter) in some of my lessons over the last month or so.
Far too many examples to list here so I’ve selected a few choice ones:
* ‘High teens‘ refers to people between the age of 15 and 19 rather than young people on drugs.
* ‘No Make‘ means no make-up and not no brand.
* A ‘Health Meter‘ is bathroom scales, not a blood pressure monitor.
* ‘TV Games‘ are not quiz shows on TV but what we know as video games.
* ‘Magic Pens‘ are marker pens and not anything to do with invisible ink.
* An ummarried older lady is known as ‘High Miss‘ whereas we may think its a tall lady.
* A ‘Cutter‘ is a knife used on paper rather than someone who edits films.
* Who would have thought that ‘Season Off‘ means a time when most people DON’T take a holiday instead of taking the whole summer off work for example.
These lessons seemed to go down very well with most of my students who were very surprised by how such English phrases would not always have their meaning worked out by English native speakers.