In today’s technological society, many people are using computers
and cell phones. The advances in products like the “Ipad”, the
“Iphone” and the “Android” make information easy to access.
Yet, this hasn’t improved our language very much. I still hear
people use words like “テレビ” and “パソコン”.
Neither of these words would be understood by an English person.
Most Japanese people are familiar with the word, “television”.
This is a long word, so most native English speakers use the
abbreviation, “TV”. “Pa-so-kon” comes from the English words,
“personal computer”. This is also a long term, so most people
One of the most confusing examples of 和製英語 is the term, “ノートパソコン”.
I assume that the “note” comes from the fact that it is as small
as a notebook. However, this will not be understood by a native
English speaker. The common name of this is “laptop”. When you
sit down, your thighs form your “lap” or “もも”. Since this PC
is small enough to put on your thighs while operating, the fact
that this can be placed upon your lap, it became known as a
“laptop computer” or simply “laptop”.
Next time you are talking about computers with your friends,
try using the terms, “PC” and “laptop”.