I heard people say that Japanese is such a beautiful unique language, but extremely difficult to learn due to the three writing systems. Don’t worry! Even Japanese have hard time to learn it. We cannot read newspapers until we graduate from high school because the Kanji (one of the writing systems) learning process usually takes a long time.
Japanese languages are also well known for having loan words. We call these words Gairaigo. We apply the word as it is, then pronounce it in a Japanese way. Many words have been borrowed from Portuguese, Dutch and German, especially in the fields of medicine. Some words came from French and Italian in the fields of music and food.
Following are some examples of Gairaigo:
German: Energisch, Arbeit, Ideologie, Neurose, Gips, Demagogie, Gelande
Portuguese: Pao, Tabaco, Charamela
Dutch: Orgel, Schop, Letter, Ransel
French: Fiancé, Fiancée, Enquete, Piment, Vacances, Concoures, Escargot, Pochette
Italian: Casino, Maestro
English has been the most of it, especially in the field of IT. As Japanese language is completely different from English counterpart, there are a lot of alphabets that do not exist in Japan. “L” and “R”, “B” and “W” are some of the typical examples that we cannot pronounce right. That is the reason why English speakers call it Engrish or Japangrish to make fun of it. Yeah, I know.
For more details, please have a look at the following video.
Since the words are heavily pronounced in Japanese way as you can see, that causes miscommunication or misunderstanding.
As Japanese are so creative (!?), some of the English words have been made up for Japanese use only. For example, we have a word called “salary man”. It means “business man” in English. That is not absolutely understandable if we say the word in English-speaking countries. We call these words Wasei words (English words made in Japan). Unfortunately Wasei words became one of the obstacles for Japanese to speak right English. Because there are many Wasei words, people cannot tell if the words are Wasei words or real English.
In recent years, the numbers of adapting loan languages are tremendously increased because of the influence of globalization. I hope that we do not lose our own beautiful languages!