|sci.lang.japan FAQ / 4. Words from other languages|
Many Portuguese words entered Japanese when Jesuit priests from Portugal introduced Christian ideas and things to the Japanese during the Muromachi period (1337-1573). Here is a list of some of them which have survived until the present day. Although these words are all gairaigo, some of them have kanji. See 1.2.6. Why do some gairaigo words have kanji?.
(Arigatō does not come from Portuguese. See 4.1. Is arigatō related to Portuguese "obrigado"?)
The origin of some words such as saboten, "cactus" and buranko, "swing" is disputed, but according to some explanations they may have come from Portuguese.
Here is a list of some words from Portuguese which have survived until the present day.
|Japanese (rōmaji)||Japanese (kanji/kana)||Original Portuguese (from Kōjien)||Modern Portuguese||English||Notes|
|padre||padre, pai||priest, father|
|veludo||veludo||velvet||天鵞絨 may also be read as てんがじゅう, the on'yomi reading (Daijirin, Kōjien). May have come from the Spanish velludo (Kōjien lists both options)|
|chokki||チョッキ||jaqueta||colete||waistcoat (UK English); vest (US English).||Source language and exact source word uncertain.|
|Igirisu||イギリス||inglez||inglês||England/The UK||In Portuguese, inglês means English or Englishman. In Japanese, igirisu means 'The United Kingdom'.|
|irmão||irmão||brother||Term used in early Japanese Christianity; missionary next in line to become a priest|
|jorro||jarro||watering can||Kōjien says this origin is one theory. Daijirin also gives the Portuguese jorro as a possible origin.|
|gibão||gibão||underwear||In Portuguese, the word "gibão" means "jerkin" (in some cases, "doublet"), rather than "underwear", the latter too generic a term.|
|canequim||unbleached muslin/calico||Not used in present-day Portuguese.|
|capa||capa (de chuva)||raincoat|
|karumera||カルメラ||caramelo||caramelo||caramel||Daijirin but not Kōjien notes the Portuguese caramelo as a source for this word.|
|carta||cartas (de jogar)||playing cards|
|Cristo||Cristo||Christ||Also kurisuto クリスト|
|confeito||confeito||A kind of star-shaped candy.||The modern Portuguese word "confeito" more commonly means "sugar-plum" or "comfit", though it also signifies a small candy made with hardened melted sugar, to which various dyes or ingredients are added, sold in wrapped paper. In this case, it is also called "rebuçado". "Confeito" is also related to the English word "confetti".|
|kurusu||クルス||cruz||cruz||cross||See ピンからキリまで, キリ is said to be a corruption of クルス.|
|marmelo||marmelo||quince||木瓜 may also be read as ぼけ.|
|meias||meias||hosiery, knitting||In Portuguese, meias means "socks".|
|mirra||mirra||mummy (embalmed human)||In Portuguese, mirra means "myrrh".|
|pin kara kiri made||ピンからキリまで||pinta, cruz||pinta, cruz||completely, utterly||The pin and kiri are said to have come from Portuguese.|
|sabato||サバト||sábado||sábado||Saturday||Kōjien also notes the Dutch sabbat as a possible source for this word.|
|saraça||saraça||chintz||Not used in modern Portuguese.|
|shabon||シャボン||sabão||sabão||soap||Commonly used in the word shabon-dama, "soap bubble", in present-day Japanese.|
Sword (in playing cards, original use)
Ugly faced woman
Worthless card (in a type of card game)
|Not in very common use in modern Japanese.|
|tabaco||tabaco||tobacco||Tabako also means "cigarettes" in present-day Japanese.|
|totan||トタン||tutanaga||tutanaga||zinc||Now used to mean galvanized sheet iron (e.g. corrugated roofing material) in Japanese. In Portuguese, "tutanaga" is a whitish alloy made of copper, zinc and nickel to which bits of iron, silver or arsenium are added (i.e., not simply 'zinc'). It is considered a Chinese invention, though Portuguese inherited the word via Persian "tutia-nak", meaning "zinc oxide".|
|têmporas||tempero||tempura||Tempero is Portuguese for spice or seasoning, but the Japanese word tempura means battered and deep-fried fish or vegetables.|
Here a ▽ marks uncommon words, readings and variations.
|Japanese romaji||Japanese kana||Portuguese||Meaning||Notes|
|shurasuko||シュラスコ||churrasco||Brazilian barbecue||From Daijirin.|
This list was derived from posts by Christian Wittern, Tomoko Yamamoto, and Bart Mathias, and checked and compiled with help from Paul Blay.
Copyright © 1994-2015 Ben Bullock
If you have questions, corrections, or comments, please contact Ben Bullock or use the discussion forum / Privacy