Tuesday, October 16, 2012

和製英語: Reform

Another Japenglish word I remember coming across now and then is 「リフォーム」. Although from the English "reform," it actually means "renovation" or "remodeling."

Often usually there seems to be some reason why the Japanese adopted these slightly off adaptations of English words (sometimes due to an old usage or a discrepancy between American and British English). So it's possible that in the U.K. people don't renovate their homes but actually "reform" them, I don't know. In American English, however, "reform" is most often used in the context of changing something bad about a person or an intangible (like a way of governing). You often hear about reforming healthcare laws or immigration policy.

In Japanese, however, you get something like: 

(I heard that shop will be under renovation from next week.)

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