Coming to you soon from Japan- Cool biz

They avoid using the expression in this IHT article on the Japanese government policy on getting people to dress down for the summer, but I think it is a good opportunity to continue my occassional “Japanese English” series of posts:

Japanese English Compound Nouns Expressions

Which of these ‘Japanese English’ expressions would you find in the Oxford English Dictionary? Which wouldn’t you find but a native English speaker might guess the meaning of anyway? Which would definitely need explaining? How would you explain them?
Walkman/ Paper driver/ Salaryman/ Anime / A short short/ Hello work/ J-pop / Golden week/ Pair look/ Recruit suit/ Long seller/ Cosplay/  One man bus/ Karaoke/ A sayonara homerun

Choose the correct explanation for what Japanese people mean when they use the Japanese English expressions below (the other explanations are what English native speakers might think the expressions mean the first time they hear them):
Cheek dance = people who are dancing very close/ a person who is moving their face as they swish water around in their mouth after they clean their teeth
High teens = young people who are taking drugs/ people who are between 15 and 19
A girl hunt = when men go out to pick up women/ the time women go out to look for men
No make = the time when you wear no lipstick etc./ a product that has no branding
Season off = a holiday that is very long/ the time when most people don’t take a holiday
A cutter = a knife that you use on paper / a person who takes out bad scenes from movies
A nighter = a baseball game that takes place after dark/ a person who spends all evening in a disco
High miss = a young lady who is tall/ an older lady who isn’t married
Home drama = a soap opera or a domestic accident
Easy order = a semi-tailored suit or a drive through take out restaurant
Health meter = bathroom scales or a blood pressure monitor
Free talking = a hands-free phone or an open discussion
A magic pen = a marker or something that writes with invisible ink
Non pro = being an amateur or being against something
To crank in = to start an old car or to start shooting a film
A meat shop = a pickup bar or a butcher’s
A plus driver = an elderly motorist or a Phillips screwdriver
A TV game=a quiz show that is on TV or a video game that you can play on your TV
A mini theatre= a cinema that seats few people or a home entertainment system

Business and technical English
Without using any words in the expressions, explain what any one of the Japanese English expressions below mean. When your partner thinks they know which one you are talking about, they will say the number of at that expression. Tell them if that was your intention.

1. cool biz
2. An OL
3. CM
4. salary loan
5. The dollar shock
6. The oil shock
7. Golden hour
8. Minus driver
9. Symbol mark
10. Excellent company
11. Base up
12. A Y shirt
13. Pocketable
14. Order made
15. Building money
16. An OB
17. Tunnel company
18. paper company
19. a one man president
20. main bank
21. Image up
22. Country risk
23. a non bank
24. image down
25. name value
26. minus image
27. cost down
28. level up

Answer key

Cheek dance = people who are dancing very close
High teens = people who are between 15 and 19
A girl hunt = when men go out to pick up women
No make = the time when you wear no lipstick etc
Season off = the time when most people don’t take a holiday
A cutter = a knife that you use on paper
A nighter = a baseball game that takes place after dark
High miss = an older lady who isn’t married
Home drama = a soap opera
Easy order = a semi-tailored suit
Health meter = bathroom scales
Free talking = an open discussion
A magic pen = a marker
Non pro = being an amateur
To crank in = to start shooting a film
A meat shop = a butcher’s
A plus driver = a Phillips screwdriver
A TV game= a video game that you can play on your TV
A mini theatre= a cinema that seats few people

1. cool biz: Dressing down for the summer
2. An OL: Office lady- a female office worker
3. CM: Commercial message: An ad
4. salary loan: A loan from a consumer loan company
5. The dollar shock: When the yen was revalued
6. The oil shock: When the price of all suddenly went up
7. Golden hour: prime time
8. Minus driver: a normal screwdriver
9. Symbol mark: a logo
10. Excellent company: a blue chip company
11. Base up: a pay rise to your or everyone’s basic pay
12. A Y shirt- a white shirt- a business shirt
13. Pocketable- portable/ fits in your pocket
14. Order made- custom made
15. Building money- making monet
16. An OB- old boy
17. Tunnel company- a paper company
18. paper company
19. a one man president- a manager who makes all the decisions on their own
20. main bank- …that your company does business with
21. Image up- improving your image
22. Country risk- a risky country to invest in
23. a non bank- other sources of credit
24. image down-
25. name value- the value of a brand name etc.
26. minus image
27. cost down- reducing costs
28. level up- improving the level

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Error correction, False friends, Janglish, TEFL, TESOL. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a comment (link optional and email never shared)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s