How to Use
This tool automatically converts Japanese words into gairaigo (外来語, “loanwords”) written in katakana, and vice versa (e.g. 気さくな歌手 ↔ フレンドリーなシンガー). Gairaigo includes wasei-eigo (和製英語, “Japanese-English”), such as サラリーマン (“salaryman”) ↔ 勤め人 (“businessman”). For instance, try converting the following sentences with the “Nihongo to Gairaigo” and “Gairaigo to Nihongo” options, respectively:
So, if you want to know what sort of loanwords exist in Japanese, you can “translate” Japanese kanji or hiragana words into katakana words using this tool (there are also blog posts on confusing loanwords and wasei-eigo). On the other hand, if you are not very happy with the flood of English loanwords in Japanese, you can convert them back to “real” Japanese words!
The conversion is based on an external large-scale dictionary (JMDict), assuring that most of the generated katakana words are actually used in Japanese (with varying degrees of frequency). Note that, once in a while, Japanese-origin words written in katakana (e.g. onomatopoeias like ネチャネチャ, “sticky”) are misrecognised as gairaigo. There may be also other types of errors, as everything is done automatically; if you find an inappropriate conversation (e.g. offensive words), or if you have any idea/suggestion to improve this tool, please kindly let me know via social media or contact form.
- Tick “Nihongo to Gairaigo” to convert words to katakana words (including wasei-eigo), and “Gairaigo to Nihongo” for the opposite direction.
- Tick “High Recall and Low Precision” to convert more words with lower accuracy, and “Low Recall and High Precision” to convert fewer words with higher accuracy.
- Tick “Show Original Words” to show the original words next to the converted words.