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Interesting, funny, weird or just incomprehensible? A study on Swedish Japanese learning students’ comprehension, thoughts and attitudes towards Wasei-eigo


  • Therese Rogland

Summary, in English

This thesis investigates to what extent Swedish students of Japanese can understand wasei-eigo, as well as their thoughts and attitudes toward it. It further investigates if some word categories are more incomprehensible than others and what aspects can determine their comprehension. The survey consisted of a questionnaire with 30 words, divided into 4 different categories, which the participants had to guess the meaning of. There were also additional questions about the term wasei-eigo itself. Results showed the participants had trouble understanding the wasei-eigo vocabulary, especially those words with two unpredictable components. One reason for this result is because of the unfamiliar structure and combinations wasei-eigo words are made up from. A student’s university grade did partly play a role in how good the comprehension was but was not crucial. When it came to experience of been to Japan or not, the results showed it was not obvious that those students who had been in Japan for the longest time understood wasei-eigo better. Many of the participants could define the term and several also used it sometimes. Their thoughts and attitudes toward wasei-eigo were, on the other hand, mixed, with both positive and negative opinions.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • wasei-eigo
  • gairaigo
  • loanwords
  • Japanized-English
  • comprehension
  • thoughts
  • attitude
  • categories


  • Axel Svahn (Doctoral Student)