We'll Shield

Don't worry, this post is about contemporary Japanese! Specifically, the We'll Shield line of products from Taiko Pharmaceutical (大幸楽品).

The brand name is written "WE'LL SHIELD", in Roman characters, and the katakana reading given is ウィルシールド, wirushīrudo. This is a portmanteau word, combining:

  1. English "We'll", rendered in katakana as ウィル, wiru. (You also get English "will" for free, since its katakanafication is identical.)
  2. The Japanese word for "virus", ウイルス, uirusu.
  3. English "shield", rendered in katakana as シールド, shīrudo.

Thus, although the name is composed entirely of loanwords, it is also completely dependent on the phonotactics of Japanese to make sense.

One point of (extremely) mild interest is that the overlap of wiru and uirusu suggests that the difference between ui ウイ and wi ウィ is perceived as quantitative rather than qualitative. Which makes sense: in the context of European borrowings the latter is really just just a hipper version of the former, available only to those with sufficiently cosmopolitan idiolects. And those to whom it is not available would, of course, use ui instead.

Question: The history of the word uirusu is a bit of a mystery to me. Most lexicographers agree that the word for "virus" was originally borrowed from German, and early citations tend to have vīrusu or bīrusu, exactly as you would expect for the German word Virus, but I've yet to find an explanation of where the Latinate form uirusu came from or why it became dominant. Does anyone know?

Popularity factor: 9

Leonardo Boiko:

Did you see what the 'pedia says?

> 日本では当初、日本細菌学会によって「病毒」と訳され、現在でも中国語では、「病毒」と呼ばれているが、1953年に日本ウイルス学会が設立され、本来のラテン語発音に近い「ウイルス」という表記が採用された。その後、日本医学会がドイツ語発音に由来する「ビールス」を用いたため混乱があったものの、現在は一般的に「ウイルス」と表記される(日本ウイルス学会が1965年に日本新聞協会に働きかけたことによって、生物学や医学分野、新聞などで正式に用いる際はウイルスと表記するようになったという説もあるが定かではない)。また、園芸分野では植物寄生性のウイルスを英語発音に由来する「バイラス」の表記を用いることが今でも盛んである。

no citations though.


Man, has anyone else noticed that Wikipedian are the biggest bunch of word nerds ever? God bless 'em, every article starts with a section on etymology.


Wikipedia! Of course!

Now someone needs to ring up the Virus Society to find out for sure.


Big fan of the ad for "an" job website:バイト・イズ・アン。
Abbreviated German word +is= verisimilitude of English.


Some people want to learn Japanese becsuae of anime, some becsuae they just LOVE the language. My case is the latter. Everyone is entitled to his or her own inspiration for learning Japanese. I don't see what the problem is with people wanting to learn Japanese becsuae of anime, as long as they respect the language. Some act like they know Japanese big time cause they can say Kawaii! and Konnichiwa! . I think that's annoying though. But that's just me I guess!


The first time I was introduced to Japanese crtluue was when I first started watching anime and read manga. Now I want to learn Japanese because I love the crtluue and the traditions, and because when I grow up I want to become a mangaka, therefore I want to go to Japan to study and I need to know the language for that. Not all people are inspired by anime, but it's not a bad thing if you think about it.


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ichigoku dit :Quelqu un pourrait m exlqepuir pourquoi ans les pages 150 dans le tome 22 de fairy tail, panther lily a des cheveux blond et pourquoi e0 la fin de ce tome (et apres) il n a plus de cheveux ?

Aime la vérité, mais pardonne à l'erreur

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