Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Difference in Transportation #5

[Car -Part 4]

This time, I would like to focus on the difference of car itself, not transportation system.

Japanglish and the names of  car parts

We have Japanglish, it means English-like words which is understandable only for Japanese actually. The word itself exist in English so we don't create new words, but the way of use is wrong. Basically, we use Katakana (One of three characters of Japanese) to represent imported words to distinguish from Japanese oriented words. Katakana is also used for Japanglish. Sometimes, it suffers us a lot as studying English, because it is hard for us to recognize if it is used in real English or not.

Speaking of the names of car parts, there are a bunch of Japanglish. I think it is because Japanese car makers tried to make them easier to remember for consumers, some are originally from not American English, or simply the person who named them was not familiar with American English. Even if they are from English, the pronunciations are quite different.

Anyway, I would like to introduce some of them.

[American English]   =   [Japanglish (Pronunciation)]
License plate = Number plate (Namba-ple-to)
Steering wheel = Handle (Hamdolu)
Horn = Klaxon (Kulakushon)
Turn signal, Flasher... = Winker (Uinka-)
Accelerator, Gas pedal = Accel (Akuselu)
Hood = Bonnet (Bomnetto)
Hubcap = Wheel (Hoi-lu)
Rear-view mirror = Back mirror (Bakku mila-)
Parking light = Small lamp (Sumo-lu lampu)
Windshield = Front glass (Flonto Galasu)

Import car in Japan

As I mentioned my former post, cars in Japan drive the left side. Therefore, the driver seat is opposite or the right side of the car. In case of an import car, we usually change the position of driver's seat to the right side so that it can be easy to adapt to left-hand traffic. Of course, wheel has been changed the placement as well, but still turn signal is the left side and wiper is the right side of wheel. Actually, turn signal bar and wiper indicator of cars for left-hand traffic is opposite. So, if you usually drive Japanese car in Japan and are not accustomed to an import car, or drive in the U.S. for the first time, you tend to move the wiper when you make turn on a corner. In addition to it, you may turn on the opposite signal easily, because when you drive Japanese car in Japan and want to turn on the right signal, you should push down the winker lever with right hand and vice versa. Among Japanese, doing these are kind of ashamed, because people think the person is not rich enough to have experience to drive import cars (Japanese usually consider import cars are the proof of rich person) Japanese drivers try to get used to it as soon as possible. I think it's silly but interesting episode. Learn more how to drive on the left side of the road.

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