Trivia: What is "ryakugo", and why does it exist?

Jul 05, 2021

Q.

What is ryakugo, and why does it exist?

A.

Ryakugo is the word used to describe when Japanese people shorten English words to make them quicker and easier to pronounce.

Here are some examples:

Starbucks = Sutaba
McDonald’s = Makku
First Kitchen = Fakkin (yep, it sounds just how you think it sounds…)

So, when a Japanese person says, “Hey, wanna go to Sutaba?”, she’s asking you if you want to go to Starbucks.

How’d you do?

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