Society and social issues Janglish

Are there any specifically Japanese social problems, e.g. things that you only know the Japanese name for?


How would you explain these Japanese concepts?

Hikikomori                                     Freeter                             Parasite singles

Karoshi                             Power harassment                        Sodai gomi


Which of these are the most serious issues in Japan? Are there any other issues which are more serious?

What do the terms “freeter”, “power harassment” and “parasite singles” have in common linguistically?

What are the differences between these expressions?

Japanese “freeter”/ freelancer

Japanese “paato”/ a part-time job

gang/ gang member


Write the words that match these definitions. No abbreviations are possible in English.

prices rising

prices falling

health problems caused by bad diet, usually shown by excess fat around the waist

someone, e.g. a political prisoner or protester, refusing to eat as a protest

children not going to school or leaving school early without permission, maybe going to shopping centre with their friends instead or secretly going back home once their parents have gone to work


What are shorter and/ or more informal ways of saying these things in English?

environmentally friendly                homosexual                                   an intellectual


Explain what these “Janglish” terms mean:

base up                                          bed town                          cashing                             claimer

cool biz/ warm biz                         cup ramen                        doctor stop                                     game centre

girl hunt                             goal in                               Hello Work                                     high teen

idling stop                                      inside report                    live house                                       low teen

manner mode                  new half                            no make                                         OB

OL                                                   one man company/ one man president                 

one room mansion                        private time                      range food                                     recruit suit

recycle shop                                  silver age                         skinship                                          televi game


What are the differences between the Japanese and English meanings of these expressions?

cosplay                                           cunning               feminist

freshman                                                      salaryman                        talent                                 reform


The following expressions have two meanings in English. What are they?

demo                               bubble                diet                      slump                  terror


Discuss some of the topics on this worksheet in pairs


PDF version for easy printing: Society and social problems Janglish

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