• Auckland, New Zealand


In his Dec. 21 letter, “Amazing world of word integration,” Gary Meyers writes: “Being a longtime student of Japan and Japanese, I have often wondered about the official process by which foreign words are integrated into the language, or rather how the kana pronunciations come about. Is there an office in some ministry that decides? Isn’t a native speaker consulted? The word ‘propane’ comes to mind.”

Has it ever occurred to Meyers that maybe there are countries in the world other than the United States and Japan? And that maybe the Japanese pronunciation of, say, “propane” could come from German, Danish or another language?

joergen jensen

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