Japanese from Car Names

Learn about Japan from car names
“Nihongo 101 JAPAN” This is your “License to Learn!”



Learning Japanese From car names

You’ve been speaking Japanese for years without realizing it: Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi. Japanese car company names can tell you a wealth of information about the language and culture. The best thing about them is that you already know them.

In this series I use the Japanese car and motorcycle company names to show you some of the basics of Nihongo (the Japanese language). Along the way we will learn some fascinating info on some of your favorite cars and companies.

It only takes one special teacher to unlock your potential greatness. Allow me to be the zen-like sensei who unlocks the Japanese side of your brain. While your friends are making silly Karate Kid jokes and singing that Mr. Roboto song, You can have the skill and confidence to say,
“Hey… that Mr. Roboto song doesn’t make any sense.”

I have some great insights for both car enthusiasts and Japanese language students.

So as they say at the Japanese car wash;  “Wax on!”


Before you “drive in”, let me throw out some Japanese basics that will help you get started.

The Japanese Language is made up of four alphabet-like systems that mix together to form the writing system. They are;

  1. Hiragana
  2. Katakana
  3. Kanji
  4. Romaji

Each of these alphabet-like characters have a different role in the process. Seen at one time it’s a little overwhelming, but taken in smaller parts, it’s overwhelming in small parts! Haha. But… when associated with the familiar cars that you know and love, it finally becomes understandable and down right interesting.

Please bear in mind that, though I am a teacher in many respects, I am not a “Japanese Teacher”. There are plenty of excellent resources to learn Nihongo (the Japanese language). Everything from your local club or school, to the countless Japanese teaching websites. I am merely here to get you excited about this stuff.

Like everything in my blog, these are Japanese concepts and ideas that I’ve learned and totally fascinated me. Now I am passing them on to you because I get so excited about this stuff, that I’ve got to tell somebody! Why not tell somebody who’s interested?