30 Japanese Words Even Beginners Can Read Thanks to Their English Sound

Many words in Japanese actually sound quite similar to English words. This is because there are a large number of loanwords borrowed from English, as well as wasei-eigo, which are words formed in Japan from English roots. When listening to Japanese conversations, you may be surprised to hear very familiar sounding words!

1. Air Conditioner エアコン (eakon)

Aircon is the shorthand for “air conditioner” in Japanese. It is commonly heard during the hot summer months.

2. Iron アイロン (airon)

Airon アイロン means “iron” for pressing clothes.

3. Announcer アナウンサー (anaunsa)

Anaunsa アナウンサー comes from “announcer” and refers to a broadcaster or presenter.

4. Apartment アパート (apāto)

Aparte アパート is borrowed from the English “apart” to mean a small apartment.

5. Apple Pie アップルパイ (appuru pai)

Appuru pai アップルパイ sounds just like “apple pie” and refers to the classic dessert.

6. Part-time Work アルバイト (arubaito)

Arubaito アルバイト, meaning “part-time work,” comes from the German word “Arbeit.”

7. Album アルバム (arubamu)

Arubamu アルバム is the Japanese way of saying “album,” referring to a record or CD.

8. Aspirin アスピリン (asupirin)

This common pain medication is called asupirin アスピリン in Japanese.

9. Bag バッグ (baggu)

The Japanese word for a handbag or purse is the same as the English – baggu バッグ.

10. Baseball ベースボール (bēsubōru)

Japan’s most popular sport is beisubōru ベースボール in Japanese.

11. Bed ベッド (beddo)

The Japanese word for the furniture we sleep on is beddo ベッド.

12. Beefsteak ビフテキ (bifuteki)

Biftek ビフテキ sounds like “beefsteak” and refers to a steak dinner.

13. Biscuit ビスケット (bisuketto)

The word for baked flour treats is the same in Japanese – bisuketto ビスケット.

14. Breakfast ブレックファスト (burēkifasuto)

Morning meals in Japan are called burēkifasuto ブレックファスト.

15. Bus バス (basu)

Public buses in Japanese cities are called basu バス, borrowed from English.

16. Camera カメラ (kamera)

Japanese use kamera カメラ for digital cameras and photography.

17. Cocoa ココア (kokoa)

The Japanese way of saying “cocoa” or hot chocolate is kokoa ココア.

18. Coffee コーヒー (kōhī)

The ubiquitous breakfast drink is kōhī コーヒー in Japanese.

19. Fan ファン (fan)

Electric cooling fans during summer are called fan ファン in Japanese.

20. Gum ガム (gamu)

Chewing gum is the same in Japanese – gamu ガム.

21. Ice Cream アイスクリーム (aisu kurīmu)

The cold, creamy dessert is aisu kurīmu アイスクリーム in Japanese.

22. Jeans ジーンズ (jīnzu)

This type of pants is called jīnzu ジーンズ in Japan.

23. Jogging ジョギング (jogingu)

The word for running slowly for exercise is jogingu ジョギング.

24. Kiss キス (kisu)

Japanese say kisu キス for a kiss between romantic partners.

25. Pan パン (pan)

Cooking pans are called pan パン in the Japanese kitchen.

26. Pizza ピザ (piza)

The famous Italian pie is piza ピザ in Japanese.

27. Radio ラジオ (rajio)

The Japanese word for the device to listen to sound broadcasts is rajio ラジオ.

28. Soccer サッカー (sakkā)

Japan’s other favorite sport, football, is sakkā サッカー in Japanese.

29. Sofa ソファ (sofa)

Couches and sofas for sitting on are sofa ソファ in Japanese.

30. Tomato トマト (tomēto)

The bright red vegetable is tomēto トマト in Japanese cooking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *