Gengo Girls #6: Made In Japan?

Genki Gengo Girls #6: Made In Japan

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One popular theory for the origin of “Japan” is that the English originally heard about the country from a European explorer who originally heard about the country from the Chinese. After a multilingual game of telephone like that it’s really no surprise that “Nippon” wound up a little warped by the time it made it into our dictionaries.


日本 = にほん = Japan

日本 = にっぽん = Japan


元気 言語 ガールズ #6

Made In Japan?

Yellow: Hey, what’s the Japanese symbol for Japan?

Blue: The symbol for Japan looks like this. It’s pronounced にほん.

Yellow: にほん?! That doesn’t sound like “Japan” at all!

Blue: It can be pronounced as にっぽん too.

Yellow: Still not “Japan”!

Yellow: It’s a country name so it should be the same everywhere, right? Why is it different in English?

Blue: I’m really not sure, but we could probably find the answer online.

Yellow: Never mind then. I’m not that curious.

Blue: It would only take a few minutes to research…

Yellow: Yeah, but I only had about thirty seconds worth of curiosity.