Weabs Speaking Japanese

Learning another language is always fun. One of the benefits is that it helps bridge cultural gaps, and is a window to understanding another culture. Don’t listen to what Tumblr tells you, anyone can and should learn another language. It’s not unusual in the anime community to see that people get inspired to learn Japanese. Sure it’s not as useful of a language as say, Spanish, German, or Arabic, which are spoken in many countries, as Japanese is really relegated to just Japan, but hey, it’s still expanding your mind.

What’s pretty infamous in the anime culture when it comes to people learning Japanese, is that they don’t really learn Japanese. Instead, they just learn random words, sprinkle them into their regular sentences, and start talking/writing like that. What might surprise people, is that this isn’t relegated to the anime fandom. Anyone who’s taken a foreign language course in high school or university has probably experienced it. Hell, I remember taking Spanish in high school, and hearing people say “hey guys, I’m having a mui bueno day”. No, just no.

Using foreign words in a language itself isn’t actually unusual, many languages have loan words. Hell American English is an amalgamation of many languages smushed together. Even Japanese has a ton of English loan words thrown in, a ton of anime have it mashed in, especially in the science fiction genre. Most of the time, foreign words/phrases are used in situations where the native language doesn’t have an equivalent of the same word, just look at a phrase like coup d’état. Sure you can say: “overthrowing the government”, but coup d’état just hits the nail on the head much better. Even some terms from anime don’t really have an English equivalent, like tsundere.

The difference between this, and what anime fans are doing, is that they’re using words that do have a standard English equivalent. It comes off as really pointless, and feels more like the person is using the Japanese word for the pure novelty of using a Japanese word. When they talk like that, it’s really disjointed, and it’s also really confusing to people who don’t understand Japanese. You bring a friend over, and they see your dog, and you go “oh yeah, this is my inu, his name is momo”. Then they ask “what does inu mean?” “Oh it just means dog”.

It’s pretty similar to when someone using a “big word” unnecessarily in a sentence. It’s kind of unnatural, and can come off as snobby or condescending. The meaning of the sentence hasn’t changed, just the words used. In the case of anime fans, it’s just really nerdy, and can increase the cringe factor. You can take a passage like “I was having a great day until my little sister came in and was acting stupid”, then you weab it up by going “I was having a sugoi day until my imouto came in and was acting all baka”. It’s not like those words have meanings that don’t work in English, they’re just replacing an English term, with a Japanese one.

Why are they talking like this? Nobody talks like this. Not even Japanese Americans who do speak Japanese talk like this. It’s only in the anime community where people talk like this. The reason why this comes off like they’re using Japanese for novelty purposes, is that they’re not learning Japanese, and they’re just practicing it. They just discover random words, and sprinkle it into their sentences, and just end it at that. Their vocabulary is incredibly limited, and doesn’t extend more than a dozen words at most. Actually learning a foreign language is hard guys, so why not just memorize about 5 words, and throw it in your sentence to show off to your friends?

Weabs, if you don’t want to look like a joke, how about you go and actually learn some useful Japanese. Learning words like baka, sugoi, or imouto isn’t learning a language. You don’t have to go out and spend years studying and be fluent, but try learning maybe some simple basics, like actual phrases, or maybe some useful vocabulary. Knowing that imouto means little sister because you watched Oreimo isn’t exactly useful knowledge, but learning how to introduce yourself, or maybe asking for directions because you’re lost is significantly more useful.


2 thoughts on “Weabs Speaking Japanese

  1. Then there’s the English words pronounced with Japanese phonetics.

    The best example is ‘waifu’.

    I don’t think any normal Japanese say that at all, making it a special kind of weeaboo vocabulary.
    Oh and I won’t even hide it; I much prefer using that word instead of ‘wife’ just to sound less serious. After all I’m talking about anime – the things I watch for enjoyment.


  2. Learning random words is only useful when you have a good basic knowledge of Japanese… it can be used to rich vocabulary but is far from enough to speak proper Japanese.


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