Trade 1/3 for @artofslater, after the cheeky little shit drew three of my characters instead of just one like I asked. Dinosaurs are hard, but I hope you like it. The rest will be completed in due time!
I’m pretty sure I have a similar post on this, but this post is much more in depth because I wrote a whole term paper about this. If you love BOTH of these languages like I do or if you want to learn more about Japanese, stay tuned:
Some (very brief) History: In about 1543, the Portuguese arrived on the island of Tanegashima (off the coast of Kyushu) in Japan. The contact of the Portuguese and Japanese resulted in a lot of trade and religious conversion (on the part of the Japanese). For a pop culture context, look up the movie “Silence” with Andrew Garfield. At one point the daimyos promoted having the Portuguese in Japan, but at a later date they didn’t really like them anymore because he wanted to “nationalize” Nagasaki. So they kicked the Portuguese out.
Linguistics! Changes from Portuguese → Japanese
Some phonological changes:
Portuguese nasal ending -ão translates to Japanese ending -an. Where do you think the word bread (pan パン) in Japanese comes from? Portuguese ‘pão’ bread!
A consonant-vowel syllable type is the most frequent syllable pattern in Portuguese, however, Portuguese does allow consonant clusters at the beginnings and the ends of syllables. Japanese can only have consonant-vowel structures, but Japanese can also have 1consonant-vowel-2consonant syllable structures IF the second consonant is a nasal ‘n.’ Because of these differences in structure, Japanese has to change something about these words from Portuguese in order for them to fit into the language. One of these repair mechanisms is vowel epenthesis (or insertion). For example, Portuguese ‘cruz’ has a complex onset (’cr’) and a final consonant (’s’) which is not allowed in Japanese. To repair this, Japanese inserts a ‘u’ between the ‘k’ and ‘r’ sound, and an ‘u’ after the ‘s’ which makes it ku.ru.su.
Portuguese and Japanese differ on a couple of consonants (i.e. Portuguese has some consonants that “don’t exist” in Japanese phonology, so Japanese has to change these consonants to fit theirs). Some of these changes include: Portuguese f → h sound Portuguese l and r → r (because Japanese has to l/r distinction) Portuguese v → b when at the beginning of a word (my data had no examples of v or b in the middle of a word so I only placed the conditions that exist).
I have more data regarding semantic change and orthographic choices (i.e. how Japanese chose to represent certain loan words in kanji). If you’re interested in seeing some of that, let me know.
But one last interesting point:
Did you know Japanese kabocha (pumpkin) comes from the Portuguese word for Cambodia?
Before the Portuguese arrived in Japan, they were in Goa (India) and Macao (China). Supposedly on their route from Goa to Macau, they stopped in Cambodia. I’m thinking that maybe “kabocha” used to be “pumpkin of Cambodia” where, when the Japanese received these pumpkins from the Portuguese, just clipped it and ended up using “kabocha” to refer to the pumpkin.
Just a fun fact. Because I was floored when I learned this.
Edit: All data based on romanized orthographic recordings so orthography may not actually correspond with phonemes, etc.