Gairaigo (words of foreign origin)

There are many words imported from abroad that are used as an established part of the Japanese language. Such “loan words,” which are transliterations of foreign words, are usually written in katakana.

The use of gairaigo can be tricky when translating into Japanese. While they can make meanings easier to understand, overuse can have the reverse effect. Translators need to make an assessment as to what will make things most comprehensible according to the target reader. For example, they need to consider whether it is better to use a gairaigo or to replace it with the appropriate Japanese word.

Furthermore, some readers prefer words to be written in the original Roman alphabet. What is important is to use the form most suitable for target readers.

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