Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Eisei-Wago 英製和語

If an wasei-eigo 和製英語 is an English word Made in Japan™, an eisei-wago 英製和語 must be a Japanese word made in England AMERICA.

I mean, literally. Just look at the kanji: eisei 英製, "English-made," wago 和語, "Japanese word."

An eisei-wago is a Japanese word used by English speakers with a meaning that's not the same meaning it had originally in Japanese of Japan. That is, even though it's a Japanese word, a native Japanese speaker will find its meaning strange, because it doesn't mean the same thing he's used to it meaning.

Examples

This is mainly true in the manga and anime fandom. I mean, the following words are used all the time by people who have no idea what they really mean in Japanese:

The word manga can refer to western comics in Japanese, but in English it can only refer to Japanese comics. The word anime can even refer to GIFs in Japanese.

The four so-called "genres" of manga and anime, shounen, shoujo, seinen and josei, are actually demographics and saying "I like shounen" mean vastly different things between languages.

The word moe comes from a verb. The word ecchi isn't softcore. And hentai is not pornographic and not even necessarily sexual..

The genres shounen-ai and shoujo-ai are English-only and would refer to pederasty and pedophilia in Japanese, respectively. (but yuri, yaoi and BL match the Japanese meanings, so there's that)

The doujin are the people who make doujinshi, they aren't interchangeable.

Zig-zag Clusterfuckery

I'd like to ask for a moment of silence to appreciate the disaster that is human language.

Please. Breathe.

The genre ecchi is an eisei-wago. That word isn't a genre in Japanese.

In Japanese, ecchi エッチ means sexy, indecent, and may refer to sex itself.

But Japanese ecchi is an wasei-eigo, it comes from the name of the letter H, in English.

The letter H because that's the first letter of hentai, which means perverted in Japan.

But hentai a genre of anime in English, so it'd be a eisei-wago then.

So... basically. The genre we call ecchi is a wasei-eigo of an eisei-wago of the initialism of the source of an eisei-wago.

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