The simple answer is YES!
They are referred to as LOAN words or Gairaigo (外来語).
It is common for these words to be slightly altered to accommodate for the sounds of the Japanese language.
For example McDonald’s is pronounced Makudonarudo. This all makes much more sense once you study how Katakana works.
Katakana is used to write/pronounce English loan words. Learning Katakana will help you understand how these loan words are pronounced as they will in a lot of cases be slightly different to English. If you want to learn Katakana please check out https://ajapanesegardenofwords.com/2019/04/24/how-did-i-learn-hiragana-and-katakana/
TOP TIP! Learning all the loan words is a quick way to build your Japanese vocabulary and they are super easy for an English speaker to remember!
Below is a list of meal time words to get you started! I have chosen food to start with because there are LOT of loan words when speaking about food.
supermarket – suupaa or sūpāmāketto スーパーマーケット
juice – jūsu ジュース
vegetarian – bejitarian ベジタリアン
fork – fōku フォーク
spoon – supūn スプーン
knife – naifu ナイフ
tomato – tomato トマト
lime – raimu ライム
melon – meron メロン
lychee – raichi ライチ
mango – mangō マンゴー
orange – orenji オレンジ
banana – banana バナナ
lemon – remon レモン
pineapple – painappuru パイナップル
avocado – abokado アボカド
guava – guaba グアバ
blackberry – burakkuberī ブラックベリー
cranberry – kulanbelii クランベリー
raspberry – razubelii ラズベリー
blueberry – burūberī ブルーベリー
passion fruit – passhonfurūtsu パッションフルーツ
nectarine – nekutarin ネクタリン
grapefruit – gurēpufurūtsu グレープフルーツ
boysenberry – boisenberī ボイセンベリ
mineral water – mineraru wōtā ミネラル ウォーター
beer – bīru ビール
main – mein メイン
dessert – dezāto デザート
soup – sūpu スープ
salad – sarada サラダ
wine – wain ワイン
tablecloth – tēburukurosu テーブルクロス
By understanding that some words in Japanese are borrowed from the English language it can make the language less daunting and make you feel you have got a head -start without much effort.
Do you know of any more meal-time loan words? List them in the comments below!
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