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    #1

    karaoke - a mix (or mixture?) of Japanese and English

    Hello,

    I'd like to explain the word "karaoke" as follows.

    The word "karaoke" is a mix of Japanese and English. "Kara" means "empty" in Japanese (as there is no voice in the song), and "oke" is from the English word "orchestra".

    In this case, should I say "mix" or "mixture"? Or, are there better words?

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    #2

    Re: karaoke - a mix (or mixture?) of Japanese and English

    I think both are OK.

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    #3

    Re: karaoke - a mix (or mixture?) of Japanese and English

    I thin most English speakers would be surprised to hear that "karaoke" is part English. It's never been presented that way. I've always read that it was a Japanese word.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: karaoke - a mix (or mixture?) of Japanese and English

    I certainly wouldn't describe the word as a mixture of Japanese and English at all. For me, it's a Japanese word which we use in English.

    As far as I know, the direct translation of "karaoke" is "empty orchestra" but I thought that was because "oke" in Japanese means "orchestra" (although the Online Etymology Dictionary does say "oke is shortened form of okesutora, which is a Japanization of English orchestra."




  3. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: karaoke - a mix (or mixture?) of Japanese and English

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I certainly wouldn't describe the word as a mixture of Japanese and English at all. For me, it's a Japanese word which we use in English.

    As far as I know, the direct translation of "karaoke" is "empty orchestra" but I thought that was because "oke" in Japanese means "orchestra" (although the Online Etymology Dictionary does say "oke is shortened form of okesutora, which is a Japanization of English orchestra."



    Hello!
    What it says in the dictionary is true, but I don't think we normally refer to 'orchestra' as 'oke' in Japanese.(Do we, pinkie?)
    'oke' has several meanings depending on context.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: karaoke - a mix (or mixture?) of Japanese and English

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I certainly wouldn't describe the word as a mixture of Japanese and English at all. For me, it's a Japanese word which we use in English.

    As far as I know, the direct translation of "karaoke" is "empty orchestra" but I thought that was because "oke" in Japanese means "orchestra" (although the Online Etymology Dictionary does say "oke is shortened form of okesutora, which is a Japanization of English orchestra."



    It depends when you stop calling a borrowing 'foreign'. Do we call 'minibus' a mixture of English and Latin because it combines 'miniature' and 'bus', and 'bus' used to be spelt (and occasionally sometimes still is) spelt with an initial apostrophe because it's an abbreviation of omnibus, Latin for 'for all'. And then what about 'miniature' and its debt to the Latin minus. So do we call 'minibus' entirely Latin? Of course not. Words have a history, and often that history leads through another language.

    b

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    #7

    Re: karaoke - a mix (or mixture?) of Japanese and English

    What's interesting with karaoke is that it has bounced back without us knowing.

    Also, I have lived in places where it has taken on a new life suggesting sex work- they have karaoke massage parlours and bars, where the attraction is the hostesses and not the singing, in parts of SE Asia.

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    #8

    Re: karaoke - a mix (or mixture?) of Japanese and English

    Thank you to Tdol who answered my question and thank you everyone for the interesting discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I thin most English speakers would be surprised to hear that "karaoke" is part English. It's never been presented that way. I've always read that it was a Japanese word.
    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I certainly wouldn't describe the word as a mixture of Japanese and English at all. For me, it's a Japanese word which we use in English.

    As far as I know, the direct translation of "karaoke" is "empty orchestra" but I thought that was because "oke" in Japanese means "orchestra" (although the Online Etymology Dictionary does say "oke is shortened form of okesutora, which is a Japanization of English orchestra."
    There are always many things people don't know.
    I'm sure that this "oke" is NOT a word native to Japanese. It is obvious to Japanese people because this "oke" is written in katakana characters. There are basically 3 types of characters in Japanese: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana is used primarily to write words native to Japanese, while katakana is used to represent words borrowed from Western languages. If you write "oke" in hiragana or kanji, it means a wooden bucket - a totally different thing. I guess that's tzfujimino meant. We don't usually call orchestra "oke", as he/she says. We usually say "okesutora" and it is a Japanization of "orchestra" as emsr2d2's etymology dictionary says. The etymology dictionary is correct and all Japanese prestigious dictionaries say the same thing. We also have other words to mean "orchestra", such as "gakudan" or "kangen-gakudan". These are words native to Japanese and written in hiragana or kanji.

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: karaoke - a mix (or mixture?) of Japanese and English

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    ...
    I'm sure that this "oke" is NOT a word native to Japanese. ...
    Of course not. That's what we've been saying.

    You could equally say 'The poppy is NOT native to England'. Well, no - it was brought over by the Romans. But it's been naturalized for well over a thousand years. (Botanists would call it an 'archaeophyte' rather than a 'neophyte'.)

    b

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