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Japanese loanwords are mainly derived from English. These loanwords provide a considerable first-language (L1) resource that may assist in second-language (L2) vocabulary learning and instruction. However, given the huge number of loanwords, it is often difficult to determine whether an English word has a loanword equivalent and whether the loanword is likely to be widely known among the Japanese. This article demonstrates an efficient method of answering these two questions. The method employs corpus frequency data from the Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese, from which the existence and frequency of loanwords in Japanese can be determined. Following the guidelines presented herein, researchers will be able to use data from the corpus themselves to check cognate frequency, thereby determining the cognate status of items used in research.
Suggested citationAllen, D. (2020). A Procedure for Determining Japanese Loanword Status for English Words. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9(1), 73–79. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.Allen.b