Home > Life in Japan > Features
  print button email button

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Yokohama: What useful Japanese words have you learned from the 3/11 disasters?


By PAUL NEHLS

News photo

Mike Duncan
English teacher, 36 (American)
I learned nuclear energy vocabulary like genpatsu (nuclear power plant) and the word for "contamination" (osen) and hōsha (radiation). Despite all the bad news, people were really calm in the face of disaster — no riots and everything was orderly.

News photo

Julie Mateen
Schoolteacher, 45 (Taiwanese)
Words I learned were genpatsu, osensui (contaminated water) and merutodaun (meltdown). From this disaster I hope Japan learns to accept more help and technology from other countries — don't always worry about being No. 1 and refuse foreign help.

News photo

Sam Baranowski
Translator, 29 (American)
I learned yoshin (aftershock), keikakuteiden (planned power outage) and the different usages of the word kizuna (bond). It was also good to see people come out of their personal bubbles as a result of the quake and to see all the donations and volunteering.

News photo

Megan Engelbach
U.S. Navy, 21
We wore our "Support Japan" T-shirts for about a month afterwards, so the locals tried to speak English with us. If anything, the Japanese learned more English from speaking to us about the quake. It was great how much we came together, pulled together.

News photo

Steven Love
Assistant language teacher, 25 (American)
I was a Japanese major in college, so I knew a lot of the words already. I noticed how things bounced back pretty quickly in Japan after the earthquake. My students are doing more papers and speeches using the earthquake as a theme.

News photo

Matt Burton
University lecturer, 37 (Canadian)
I learned the word for aftershock, yoshin, and genpatsu. My impression was that Japan was remarkably prepared, no one got panicked or upset, and people continued to line up quietly even with the power out immediately after the quake.

Living outside Tokyo and interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp


Back to Top

About us |  Work for us |  Contact us |  Privacy policy |  Link policy |  Registration FAQ
Advertise in japantimes.co.jp.
This site has been optimized for modern browsers. Please make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser's preferences.
The Japan Times Ltd. All rights reserved.