The most popular food in Japan isn't sushi, and it isn't ramen or tempura, either. It's actually curry, or as the Japanese usually call it, curry rice. Curry spread out from India during the 1700s, a gift from the British Empire that's enjoyed in Japan more than any other kind of food save rice itself. Many companies compete to bring the best curry to market, with products like House The Curry (the Japanese love to add the word "the" to product names) and Vermont Curry, flavored with the mild kiss of Vermont apples. One of the rules of curry-eating is that it tastes even better after it's been left to sit out in the pan all night, and "second day curry" is just heavenly, though my son discovered that "second day Chef Boyardee ravioli" is pretty good, too. Curry is available in many forms in Japan, poured over fried pork cutlet; as udon noodles in a curry soup, a popular dish from Nagoya; or as curry bread, a doughnut-like ball of bread with curry inside. How do you like your curry?
Each language has different unique features. I've got a sister who speaks German, and she told me that the purpose of German grammar is to get the subject and verb as far apart in the sentence as possible. While it doesn't seem like it at first, Japanese is quite a simple language, lacking confusing elements of grammar like Perfect Continuous Conditional tense or nouns having arbitrary genders -- heck, you don't even need to specify singular or plural in Japanese sentences. Japanese hate long, unwieldy words or phrases and tend to abbreviate them into four-syllable groups, a trend any anime fan will be aware of, thanks to short series names like Oreimo or KanColle or Konosuba.
The Japanese also use a lot of English abbreviations for common objects, some of which might be confusing to people not used to them How many of these can you guess the meaning of? They're all very commonly used in Japan.
- PA, IC
- OL, IT
- OP, ED
To see the answers, scroll down!
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Answers to Japanese abbreviations.
PA, IC: These are common road terms, meaning Parking Area (e.g. a highway rest stop) and interchange.
GW: An abbreviation for Golden Week, a week-long holiday in May.
PV: Promotional Video, seen on YouTube a lot.
OL, IT: Office terms, denoting Office Lady (a female officer worker who wears a uniform), and "Internet Technology" (that's what everyone in Japan thinks it means, anyway).
AD: This stands for
Assistant Director Art Director. Both, actually.
CM: A TV commercial.
NG: Short for "no good," and is used as the opposite of "ok." Also a "blooper" on TV or movies is also called an NG. I've encountered this word in science fiction books from the 50s so it might be an archaic British word.
OP, ED: Anime fans will probably know these as Opening and Ending themes.
KY: Stands for kuuki yomenai or "can't read the air," and describes someone who isn't good at reading social situations.
3P: Three people, e.g. a ménage à trois.