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Pennylicious » Blog Archive » Yen: We’ve Been Pronouncing It Wrong All These Years!
   
     
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Yen: We’ve Been Pronouncing It Wrong All These Years!

Loyal Neatorama (and now apparently, Pennylicious) reader Dougall Meloney sent us to wikipedia’s page on the Japanese Yen. He wrote:

This is an absolutely enormous entry about the history (why exchange rates are what they are now, and how they were manipulated by both the US and Japanese Governments) Type (all the denominations of coinage and bills) problems (counterfieting of certain denominations) and pictures of coins and bills. More than you ever wanted to know about the Japanese Yen (even a pronounciation guide and an essay on the origin of the word!)

I didn’t know that we’ve been pronouncing "yen" incorrectly all these years!

In standard Japanese, the yen is actually pronounced "en", but the spelling "yen" is standard in English, due to historical Portuguese transliteration.

En literally means "round object" in Japanese, as yuan does in Chinese, referring to the ancient Chinese coins that were circular in shape and widely used in Japan up to the Tokugawa Period.

Link: Japanese Yen [wiki]

Posted on Wednesday, September 27th, 2006 at 1:01 am
Category: Money & Currency. Feed: RSS 2.0

2 Comments to “Yen: We’ve Been Pronouncing It Wrong All These Years!”

  1. Brendan Says:

    Transliteral? More like trans-figurative! It doesn’t stop there, either. In fact the Japanese refer to their country as Nihon (or sometimes Nippon). The written characters can be interpreted as “Origin of the Sun,” or more poetically “Land of the Rising Sun.” The Malay are responsible for our pronounciation, reading the characters “jih pun” for sunrise.

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Japan

  2. dodgyd55 Says:

    i have pronounced it “en” all the time, i just thought this was common knowledge, like people saying “Mos-Co” instead of “Mos-Cow”

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