More Fun With Japanese English

Bailey and his dad in a rare moment of sitting still before a soccer game.

A few weeks ago I was at my son’s soccer tournament and he allowed a goal (he’s a goalie).  From our side of the crowd, after the initial letdown, a shout went up: “Do Mai!”

Confused, I turned to my friend next to me, who is Japanese, but grew up mostly in the U.S.  Without me asking, she knew exactly what I wanted to know.  She explained that it really is a form of English that the crowd shouts – it’s pronounced “DOH – MY” and it is a shortened and Japanese style way of saying “DON’T MIND”.  Yep, that’s right.  They didn’t want my son to fret about the goal he allowed, so the common yell is “Do Mai!”  Any time someone misses a goal or basket or hit in any game, or allows a goal, basket or hit, that is what the crowd shouts at their team.  Basically they’re saying “don’t worry about it – you’ll do better next time.”  It’s meant as form of support and solidarity with the players.

I hunted around and found a whole long list of these types of words, which I know I’ve mentioned before here.  Here’s the site I found, called “TELFtastic“.  Have fun with it!

But trust me, this is not the last time I’m mentioning this.  As a writer and language aficionado, I find the whole phenomenon of mixing Japanese and English to be fascinating.  Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “More Fun With Japanese English

  1. I’ve just discovered your blog via Tokyo Jinja, which I discovered via another blog. I rather enjoy this process of discovery. You end up on some very interesting blogs, like this one!

    This TEFLtastic list made me grin. It also produced a few “aha!” moments. Finally I understand several phrases that have baffled me for a long time.

    I want to read your older posts now, so I’ll say goodbye for now. 🙂

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