Sunday, August 05, 2007


...or how the Japanese have misplaced their damned language and replaced it with English.

Chilled Beer and Glass Set
All my Japan-bound readers who are fans of beer should beat a path to your local 7-11 and pick up the titular 「チルドビール3本&グラスセット」, or "Chilled Beer 3 count and Glass Set", from Kirin.

Aside from being a indicator of a sad (to me, lover of Japanese lanugage) linguistic phenomenon, it is a good value at ¥749 for a bottle each of Kirin Ichiban (KIRIN 一番搾り), Kirin Grand Ale (グランドエール), and Kirin Maroyaka Kobo (まろやか酵母)--each of which retail separately for ¥250--and a decent if faux-haute couture beer glass (I assign the faux prefix due to the fact that the glass is basically an attempt to dress up what has assured me is called a "footed Pilsner"--or were they going for the "tulip"?--which is completely unnecessary for any of the beers it ships with; calls for an English pint or Shaker for the Grand, and suggests that either would be appropriate for the Ichiban and the Maroyaka, plus a Dimpled mug, Lager glass, or Stein.

So you save ¥1 outright (what a deal!) and get a free glass that, while it is not as fancy as it pretends to be, can be used to drink beer from. :) That is OK by me!

What is less OK by me is the fact that there exists a perfectly fine Japanese word for all but one word in the title (「ビール」, though I would entertain the argument that there is not a great word for 「グラス」--「水飲み」 is perfectly reasonable, but is not much in common usage anymore, and 「猪口」 is not quite the same thing), yet Kirin has chosen to use katakana loan words instead. This is actually worse than 和製英語 (wasei eigo--"Made in Japan" English); at least the latter is Japanese in origin.

Japanese companies, try using the Japanese language for naming your products. I would not want to see them go as far as the French, who have erected the ediface of the Académie française in a foolish and ultimately doomed attempt to halt linguistic evolution, but I would like Japanese people to have some pride in their language.

Groove to my Flickr set to view more gratuitous pictures of beer.


John Mettraux said...

Hi Josh,

"faux" doesn't blend well with "haute-couture", "couture" being a feminine word, "faux" should be written "fausse", but it seems you want to use it as "faux", the noun, not the adjective, which can be translated as a "fake", it gives a kind of collision (noun + noun), very "american français" but not french.

Fake "Haute-Couture"... In the french luxury industry, the term used would be "une contrefaçon" (counterfeit).

French is tricky.

I'll have a look at the Family Mart for this Kirin stuff, thanks and cheers,


Josh Glover said...


I am delighted that in a post on terrible Japanese, you have pedantically corrected my French. I am set in my place, and will never presume to be any sort of Grammar & Usage Police again!

Until my next effervescence of the mouth, that is.