Oxford English Dictionary adds 23 new Japanese words

The inclusion of 23 Japanese words into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) marks a significant acknowledgment of the deep cultural exchanges between Japan and the English-speaking world, particularly in the realms of cuisine, hospitality, art, and literature.

Culinary terms like katsu, donburi, and onigiri, along with santoku knives and okonomiyaki, not only enrich the English lexicon but also reflect the global appetite for Japanese cuisine and its culinary traditions.

The concept of omotenashi, emphasizing a level of hospitality that goes beyond mere service to anticipate and fulfill guests’ needs before they arise, introduces a nuanced understanding of service and care deeply rooted in Japanese culture.

Furthermore, the addition of art-related terms such as kintsugi, which embodies the beauty in imperfection and the value of repair, broadens the English-speaking world’s appreciation for Japanese aesthetics and philosophical approaches to life’s impermanence and flaws. Isekai, a term for a genre that has captivated audiences with narratives of fantastical worlds and adventures, illustrates the widespread appeal of Japanese storytelling techniques and the imaginative realms they conjure.

This update, resulting from collaboration with researchers from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, highlights the dynamic nature of language and its capacity to capture and convey the essence of cultural practices, values, and artistic expressions across borders.

The introduction of these Japanese terms, alongside non-Japanese additions like “Bible-bashing,” “ultra-processed,” and “bibliophilia,” reflects the OED’s ongoing efforts to document and celebrate the evolving tapestry of the English language, enriched by contributions from around the globe.

The collaboration between OED editors and researchers from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies underscores the importance of linguistic exchange and cultural understanding in today’s interconnected world. It emphasizes the mutual enrichment that occurs when languages and cultures interact, facilitating a deeper appreciation and comprehension of diverse perspectives and traditions.

As English continues to evolve and adapt to incorporate words and concepts from various languages, the OED’s inclusion of Japanese terms not only reflects the increasing global influence of Japanese culture but also serves as a testament to the universality of human experiences and expressions. It underscores the significance of language as a bridge that transcends borders, fostering communication and fostering mutual understanding among people of different backgrounds and origins.

In an era marked by globalization and intercultural exchange, the recognition of Japanese words in the OED serves as a reminder of the richness and diversity of human language and culture. It encourages individuals to explore and embrace linguistic diversity, promoting empathy, tolerance, and appreciation for the multitude of ways in which people around the world express themselves and navigate their lives.

Latest articles

Global EV, hybrid vehicles sales to reach new record in 2024

Despite some markets experiencing slowed growth, global sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are projected to reach a new record high in 2024....

Malaysia: Navy helicopters collide mid-air, all 10 onboard killed

During a practice session for an upcoming parade, a tragic accident occurred involving two Malaysian navy helicopters which collided mid-air, resulting in the deaths...

Climate change will affect children in future: US court

Medina's active role in defending his community's climate and livelihood emphasizes the intersection of human rights and environmental protection. His involvement in the upcoming...

UK: Rishi Sunak finally passes Rwanda bill despite controversies

After an eventful two-year period marked by the tenure of three different prime ministers, four or five changes in the position of home secretary,...

Related articles