East Asian Writing Systems

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As is well known, foreign words in Japanese are almost always written in katakana, a useful device signalling that they are different in certain ways (such as phonetic structure) from either native Japanese words or Chinese character compounds. For the Western learner it is a sign that the word will be familiar when it is finally spelt out. For the Chinese learner it is an indication to panic at another completely unidentifiable word.

Sometimes, however, borrowings from English are found in the original spelling. One is the word ゲット getto, from English 'get'.

'Get' is a relatively recent borrowing from English and is also simple to write, which may explain why it is commonly encountered in its original spelling.

Dai 2 kai 'Kantō no Eki hyakusen'
Shin Stanpu rarii
Jisshi kikan: Heisei 15 nen 10 gatsu mikka (kin) made
Sutanpu o atsumete kinen-hin wo getto siyō!!

Second Kanto station hundred choice
Running until 3 October 2003
New Stamp Rally
Collect the stamps and get a souvenir!!

The following are the results of a Google search in August 2003:

No. of occurrences

Note, however, that the English 'Get' includes web sites with instructions in English like 'Get Adobe reader'.


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