Or is it Jingrish? I’m not sure. Whatever the word for Japanified (is that one a word?) English words, I crack up big time whenever my sister tells me another phrase or word she used to hear when she was living in Japan. In true Magda form, I remember the ones mainly related to food. Sigh.

Here is a short Japengeselish (or Jingrish, if you like) dictionary:

Macudonarudo – McDonald’s

Hottodoggu – hot dog

Hambaga – hamburger

Sofutosauvu – soft serve (ice cream)

Fraidopotaiyto – french fries, or fried potatoes

Depato – department store

Cocacora – Coca Cola

Ranchi – lunch

Toirretto – toilet

Channeru – channel

Piersu – earrings (from the word “pierced”)

Great, aren’t they? And no, before someone inevitably gets offended, this is not meant to make fun of Japanese people. Quite the opposite – I find it very endearing and quite cool how you can totally change an English word and still know what it means even without translation. A lot of these words are pronounced like that because there’s no letter “l” in the Japanese language. For the other words, they do have Japanese translations but the Japanese just prefer to use these versions. Let me know if you heard others that you liked.

Pooping in Japan

As I’m about to embark on my next holiday – this time to Hong Kong – I realised I never wrote anything on my blog about my last holiday to Japan (at least I don’t remember writing anything… you never know!). So without further ado, here’s a short write up of my favourite thing in Japan: toilets.

Last July my crazy little sister packed her bags and left Chicago to spend a year in Japan teaching English in remote areas of the country. For the past year I’ve had the privilege of laughing in hysterics as I read her emails on Japanese cultural experiences. In early May I met my parents and sister in Tokyo to see all the purple food, crazy socks and lace umbrellas for myself. While all that was pretty funky, what really fascinated me was their toilets.

Yes, toilets. Poopers. Cans. Dunnies. Loos. (No, this isn’t Kenny writing the story.)

big toilet

Japanese toilets are quite possibly the coolest gadget I’ve experienced. And yes, that includes Wii, iPhones and even self-parking cars. Let me paint you a picture.

It’s winter. There’s a chill in the air. You have to go. You walk into the stall and sit down and the cold seat doesn’t feel at all pleasant to your skin. Not in Japan! All the toilets have bum warmers! With adjustable temperature! So if you like things toasty, that’s your choice.

But wait, it’s a public toilet so you may be a bit embarrassed or scared of germs. Nah-ah, not in Japan! Toilets come fully equipped with multiple noises that mask the “natural” sounds their users make (Quick random fact: The sounds were added after Japanese ladies repeatedly flushed toilets to make noise, thus wasting lots of water. The pre-recorded sound does the job, but is a bit more eco-friendly). You can play a pretty song or a sound of running water, for example.

But it doesn’t end there! There’s a built-in bidet for ladies and a bum washer (with adjustable pressure and temperature) for everyone’s enjoyment. And yes, you guessed it, a bum dryer is there too. It’s a completely warm, hands-free, clean bathroom experience.

Now, you may think I’m completely weird to have written this post. If you do, then I have one thing to say to you – don’t knock it till you try it!