Friday, April 13, 2012


Anyone that studies Japanese for more than 5 minutes knows that the language is full of loan words (words taken from other languages). The easiest examples being "sofuto" (software), "pasocon" (personal computer) and "kohi" (coffee). There are less well-known examples that usually surface only after you've been working in an office for a while, such as "hotchkiss" ("stapler", which comes from the manufacturer's name).

Naturally, the same holds true for words used in a hospital.

Rentogen - "x-ray". Taken from the Japanese pronunciation of William Conrand Rontgen, discoverer of "Rontgen radiation".

Gips - "plaster cast". Taken from the word "gypsum", which is used to make plaster.

Interestingly, "gips" are no longer made using gypsum plaster in Japanese hospitals. There is a company, Orthoglass, that produces rolls of quick-setting fiberglass that can be shaped to the patient's arm or leg, and will harden in 2-3 minutes. These fiber glass casts are also referred to by doctors as "gips".


Niclas said...

X-ray is Röntgen in swedish.
Plaster is Gips in swedish
More natural for me :)

TSOTE said...

Thanks for visiting, Niclas. What brought you to this blog?