Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Japanese words of the year...

There must be something about people and their relationship with their languages that everyone seems to have a word of the year prize of some form or another. (Remember a little while back when w00T! was word of the year in English.)
If you read Japanese, there's a list of the Shingo-Ryuko Taisho (Neologism/Trend Grand Prize) top 10.
Number 1 is Gu-, with the long drawn out u sound, this horribly annoying catchphrase of comedian Edo Harumi. She stresses the gu ending on every katakana borrowing (or borrowingu- if you will and I will try not to) to "comedic" effect.
This indicated a paucity of competition this year.
Number 2 is Arafo-, from around, ara, and forty, fo-. Arafo- is used to describe women just either side of age forty who are considered more poised, mature, independent and confident. Much like my wife, as a side note.
Please don't tell her I told you about her age.
There's an English list of the top 60 phrases here.

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