OUT WITH THE NEW, IN WITH THE OLD. A study on Western loanwords in Japanese newspapers and the recommendations provided by the National Institute of Japanese Language and Linguistics
Abstract: With the current influx of Western loanwords, also called gairaigo, into the Japanese language, many Japanese citizens fear that the spirit of the language is disappearing. Nevertheless, borrowing words from foreign languages has historically been and still is an important part in the development of the Japanese language. However, some new gairaigo have been deemed unfitting or easily misunderstood by both the public and the National Institute of Japanese Language and Linguistics, which has led to the publication of 'recommendation lists' by the same institution, that lists said gairaigo and suggestions on how to replace them with native Japanese words. This thesis sought to examine if the recommendations had any effect on one of the biggest daily newspapers, the Asahi Shimbun. A total of 120 articles, 60 each from the year 1999 and 2019 were examined, covering five different categories in total. By comparing the amount of gairaigo from both years and with the recommendations, it was possible to determine that the amount of gairaigo that appeared in the articles has slightly increased, while the use of "difficult" gairaigo has remained the same.
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