Words from other languages

Although present-day Japanese often borrows English words (see Japanese and English), many Japanese words, such as the words for coffee, bread, and cigarettes, originated from Portuguese (see Which Japanese words come from Portuguese?) and Dutch (see Which Japanese words come from Dutch?) and date back hundreds of years. Another big influence was German (see Which Japanese words come from German?), particularly in medicine, during the Meiji restoration.

An urban legend is that arigatō ('thank you' in Japanese) originates from Portuguese 'obrigado'. In fact this is just a coincidence: see Is related to Portuguese "obrigado"?


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