Dutch Words in the Japanese Language

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dealing with Loanword, something similar to Wasei-Eigo, we also have Dutch words used in the Japanese language. In this article, we are going to see a list of Japanese words derived from the Dutch language that had a lot of influence in Japan.

How did Dutch end up in Japanese?

Dutch is a western language that came to Japan after Portuguese and Spanish. In 1609 companies from the East Indies and the Netherlands (Federal Republic of Nederland) began trading at the Port of Hirado in Nagasaki.

About 30 years later, in 1640, the company moved to Dejima in Nagasaki and, even after becoming an isolated country, it remained the only trade in Europe and continued to transmit its culture to Japan.

In the process, many Dutch nomenclatures flowed and became established in the Japanese language. There is no beautiful name like it wasei-eigo to refer to Japanese words of Dutch origin, what we have is [オランダ語から日本語への借用].

Dutch words in the Japanese language

War for the Origins of Japanese Words

The similarities between Western words make some question the origin of the words used in Japanese. Did it come from Portugal or the Netherlands? Some words always become reasons for uncertainty and confusion.

For example, some believe that the cloak [マント] which refers to a cape, originated from the Portuguese language, but it is believed that it also originated from the Dutch word "mantel" - mantel, which when being Japaneseized can become cloak.

They also question the origin of the word iodine whether it came from Dutch or German. The same goes for the word rheumatism and "crane". Regardless of origin, the word lists in this article are of Dutch origin.

Dutch words in the Japanese language

Gairaigo - The Words of Foreign Origin

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, Dutch words in Japanese can be called gairaigo [外来語]. Refers to all words used in Japan of foreign origin written in Katakana, regardless of language origin.

In order to explain, it's like the words internet, download, hotdog and hamburger that we use in English. There may also be false cognates, where the original word is different from the meaning used in the Japanese language.

in Dutch some gairaigo are stones and periodic table elements and some common objects and words that were brought to Japan by Dutch influence. I hope you make good use of the words mentioned in this article.

Dutch words in the Japanese language

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Dutch Quarter in Nagasaki

A proof that the Netherlands influenced Japan in some way is located in the city of Sasebo in Nagasaki. The place references one of the royal residences of the Dutch royal family in The Hague. See other foreign places in Japan.

It is a Dutch theme park called Huis Ten Bosch with full-size Dutch buildings filled with theatres, museums, shops, amusement park, restaurants and a windmill. 

In Nagasaki Prefecture there are many references to Holland. The Netherlands was the only European country to maintain diplomatic relations under the isolation of the Edo period. Some of these influences can be seen in the vocabulary of this article.

Dutch words in the Japanese language

List of Dutch Words in Japanese

Below is a list of Japanese words with their meaning in English and their origin in Dutch:

Responsive Table: Scroll the table sideways with your finger >>
JapanesePortugueseDutch
アスベストasbestosasbest
アパルトヘイトapartheidapartheid
アルカリalkalialkali
アルコールalcohol"alcohol"
インキinkinkt
エゲレスegeresEngelsch
エキスto extractextract
エーテルetherether
エレキ(エレキテル)electric (electel)electricity
お転婆tomboyyesterday
オルゴールmusic Boxorgel
オレーフolefolijf
ガス"gas"gas
カバンbagkabas
ガラスglassglas
カランcallan"crane"
カリウムpotassiumkalium
カンtinkan
カンテラquarrykandelaar
カンフルcamphorkamfer
キナkinakina
キニーネquininekinine
ギプスplastergips
コックroosterok
コップglasskop
コーヒーcoffee"coffee"
ゴムrubbergum
コルクcorkkurk
コンパスcompass"compass"
サーベルsabersabel
サフランsaffron"saffron"
シロップsyrupsiroop
ジャガタラjagataraalligator
スコップSpoonschool
ズックzuckdoek
スポイトdropperspuit
ソーダsodasoda
ソップsoupsoup
タラップtalap"trap"
ダンスdancedans
チンキchinkitincture
デッキcovered areadeck
ドイツGermany"Germany"
ドックdockdok
どんたくdontakuzondag
ニッケルnickelnikkel
ビーカーcupbeker
ピストルgunpistol
ビールbeerbeer
ヒステリーhysteriahysterie
ピンセットtweezerspincet
ピントfocus"brandpunt"
フラフfluffvlag
ブールbooleanboer
ブリキburikiblik
ペストPraguepest
ベルギーBelgiumBelgium
ペンpenCaneta
ペンキpaintingpek
ホックhook"haak"
ホップjumphop
ポマードointmentpommade
ポルダpoldapolder
ホースhosehoos
ボール盤drilling machineboor bank
ポン酢ponzu saucepons
ポンドlibrapond
ポンプbomb"pomp"
マストmastEm: mast
マドロスsailormatroos
マホメットMohammedMahomed
マラリア"malaria"malaria
マントfront cover"mantel" - mantel
メスfemalemom
モルモット"marmot"marmot
モルヒネmorphinemorphine
八重洲yaesuJan Joosten
ヨードiodinejodium
ヨードチンキtincture of iodineJoodtinctur
ヨーロッパEuropeEurope
ランドセルschool bagransel
ランセットlancetlancet
ライスターフェルleisterfellrijsttafel
ランプlight fixturelamp
リウマチrheumatoidrheumatisch
リュックサックschoolbagrugzak
ルーデサックrude bagrodee-zak
レッテルlabel"Livre"
レトルトretortretort
レンズlenslens
ロストルfacerooster

Ponzu sauce - In the original sense, it refers to the juice of citrus fruits, which, in turn, came to mean mixed vinegar. It is also used as an abbreviation of "ponzu soy sauce". The "ponchi" drink is also derived from the same word.

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