Nihongo no Kokoro Part 125

Nanka

なんか

The pronunciations of the Malay language and the Japanese one have so much in common, many homonyms exist between the two. One that I would like take the opportunity to introduce to you here is the word “nanka.”

In Malay, it would sound like the word for jackfruit but in Japanese, it is a shortened form of “nanika,” which means “something.” So when someone says “Nanka tabetai,” it could either mean that they want to eat something, or that they want to eat jackfruit.

By making use of these similarities and turning them into some kind of word play or pun, some may find it useful to remember vocabulary when learning either of these languages.

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