Monday, April 23, 2012

Contractions and abbreviations

(This has been sitting in my post list as a draft for a while, so since I had some time today I figured I'd finally post it.)

Spoken and manga Japanese is full of contractions/abbreviations. Some of them are widely known and used while others are not. It can make things rather difficult for a non-native speaker. Here's a short list of some of the random ones that I often use/hear or have simply stuck in my head:

konbini コンビニ = convenience store コンビニエンスストア
(Ubiquitous in Japan and actually very very convenient)

shaapen シャーペン = sharp pencil シャープペンシル
mechanical pencil

K.Y. = kuuki yomenai 空気読めない
can't read the atmosphere, clueless

goukon 合コン= goudou kompa 合同コンパ
group blind date (a group of guys meets with a group of girls in equal numbers)

konkatsu 婚活= kekkon katsudou 結婚活動
marriage hunting; activities leading to marriage (e.g. dating, courtship, etc.)

enren 遠恋 = enkyori renai 遠距離恋愛
long distance relationship

enkou 援交 =  enjo kousai 援助交際
dating with compensation; schoolgirl prostitution
(Got this from the Kimi ni Todoke 君に届け manga. My Japanese teacher friend was more than a little surprised when I asked her what it meant.)

konmisu コンミス = concert mistress コンサートミストレス
apparently the concert master/mistress is second only to the conductor in an orchestra

paarii パーリー = part leader パートリーダー
eg. the trumpets' (part) leader
(Got this from the Aozora Yell: Yell for the Blue Sky 青空エール manga, whose main character is part of the school brass band. I think the short form sounds an awful lot like the French/Japanese pronunciation of "Paris"...)

*TKG = tamago kake gohan 卵かけご飯
a dish of rice (gohan) topped with  (raw) egg (tamago), usually mixed with a little soy sauce
(*some boys in one of my junior high school made this one up)

*daijoubanai = daijoubu de wa nai 大丈夫ではない
not OK
(*another one made up by some of my junior high school boys)

Fellow students of Japanese, what are some of your "favourites"?
(Incidentally, mine are TKG and daijoubanai even though probably because they were made up by my students and therefore aren't widely used--kind of like an inside joke.)