I want to start this year with a fun tip from my Daily English Diary last Sunday. I held a karaoke party all day long. We sang all our favorite songs from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm! Around 8 hours! Wow!
If you are studying English in Japan, you might be surprised by the way I just said "karaoke". And if you are in other countries, you might wonder why the spelling of this word looks a little unusual for English.
Well, that's because it's not actually English. The first karaoke machines were invented in Japan. So they got a Japanese name: "kah-rah-oh-keh". The 'kara' means 'empty', and the 'oke' is short for 'orchestra'. It's like having an orchestra in an empty room-- and you're the star!
When it became popular in the USA, people used the Japanese name for it. But the original sound of the Japanese "kah-rah-oh-keh" doesn't fit so easily with the natural rhythms of English. So it got changed a little. Well, maybe a lot...
Anyway, this happens in every language. People "borrow" technology, foods, ideas, and the words for those things from other cultures and languages. Then they change them to fit locally.
For example, modern Japanese has taken many words from English and changed them into Japanese pronunciation. It is sometimes called "Katakana-English".
But we shouldn't forget that English is actually quite full of words "borrowed" from other languages. It has been doing this regularly for more than 1,000 years. In fact, English might be the most mixed language in the world.
So see if you can find some words rearranged from your own language in English, and enjoy those connections--
This learning tip is part of my short daily diary. It's in easy English so you can enjoy some listening & reading practice and learn some useful daily conversation. Enjoy!
↓ Watch the original video mentioned in today's tip!