Pidgin-Japanese

In China, where the native language is very difficult to pick up, and the natives themselves have a decided talent for learning foreign tongues, the speech of the most numerous body of foreigners-the English-has come to be the medium of intercourse. It is not pure English, but English in that modified form known as "Pidgin-English." In Japan, where the conditions are reversed, we have "Pidgin-Japanese" as the patois in which new-comers soon learn to make known their wants to coolies and tea-house girls, and which serves even as the vehicle for grave commercial transactions at the open ports. A Yokohama resident of old days, Mr. Hoffman Atkinson, made up a most entertaining little book on this subject, entitling it Exercises in the Yokohama Dialect; but its humour cannot be fully appreciated except by those to whom real Japanese is familiar.

In the dialect under consideration, a "lawyer" is called consul-bobbery-shto, a "dentist" is ha-daikusan (literally "tooth carpenter"), a "lighthouse" is fune-haiken-sarampan-nai rosoku, a "marine insurance surveyor" is sarampan-fune-haiken-danna-san, and so on.