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Get Yourself Connected: A Quick Guide to Internet Setup in Japanese

At first the words for the internet can seem somewhat easy after all — a lot of them are English. However, once you try and get online, the words become increasingly difficult. GaijinPot investigates.

By 2 min read

One of the interesting things about getting connected to the internet for Japanese learners is the opportunity to see new words and phrases being developed before our eyes. Of course, with Silicon Valley being the heartland of the web and computing slang, a lot of these words are borrowed from English. For instance,  ダウンロードする (to download), インストールする (to install software), オンラインショッピング (online shopping), ホームページ (home page), ネットワーク (network) and ウェブサイト (website) are all loan words from the Valley.

This borrowing of English words makes life especially easy when talking about ハードウエア (hardware). The computer itself is usually called a コンピューター or パソコン (a shortened version of the “personal computer”). Other bits of hardware include the mouse (マウス), keyboard (キーボード ) and printer (プリンター).

Even the word for the internet is taken from English: インターネット. No surprise there. Intriguingly, though, this could be used to make a verb インターネットする that would roughly translate as “to surf the internet.” (Although the the quasi-English ネットサーフィンする is becoming more common).

While the English loan words are widely used, it’s worthwhile to watch out for alternative Japanese terms such as 画面がめん (screen) instead of モニター (monitor), for example. Others to be careful of include 電子機器でんしきき (electronics) or 充電器じゅうでんき (charger).

So… are you convinced and want to get to it? Well, here is where it gets a little more tricky. Just to simply get online you might want to quickly brush up on your Japanese, as the verbs for getting started are 接続せつぞくされる (to be connected) and インターネットを導入どうにゅうする (to install the internet). Also, be careful to pay your bill each month or you may experience the opposite of this: 遮断しゃだんされる (to be shut off).

Just to simply get online, you might want to quickly brush up on your Japanese…

After you have been 接続された, you will then need to know about the specs for your connection. There are a few tricky words associated with this: 通信速度つうしんそくど (connection speed), 回線かいせん速度 (line speed) and 〇〇を検索けんさくする (search 〇〇 on the internet).

Now that you’re set up, the world wide web is at your fingertips. Of course, these days being more connected also leaves you more vulnerable to インターネットの危険きけん (internet risks). To escape the clutches of hackers and spambots, you will need to learn the current buzzword: 対策たいさく (counter-measures taken out against something). Naturally, for the web, the most important is ウイルス対策をする (anti-virus measures).

Now you know enough to get yourself connected and the words that are associated with doing it. Make sure that you practice some of these words when you call to get yourself set up and you’ll soon be able to talk like a Japanese tech geek.

Do you know any other useful Japanese terms for getting on the ‘net? Let us know in the comments!

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