Jump to content

Japanese use of 'home' for 'platform'.


ben_issacs

Recommended Posts

ben_issacs

Folks, 

When reading English translations of Japanese railway text, the word 'Home' comes up, referring to  what most of us would call a 'railway platform'.

Why is this so?

My guess is that it comes from British signalling practice, which the Japanese used for many years.

In the British system, the signal protecting the station platform is called the 'Home' signal, so the Japanese have decided that the 'Home' signal protects something called 'Home' which is the station platform.

Note that in Katakana, 'Home' is rendered as 'Homu' which is the word that will often come up in descriptions of station models .

Regards, 

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

 

Link to post
ben_issacs

Railsquid,

Thanks for that, a Japanese version of 'platform' I had not considered.

Regards, 

Bill,

Melbourne. 

Link to post

The correct translation should be "form" and not "home". It's just the phonetic difficulty to pronounce the sound of 4 "fu+o-ru".

I'm actually surprised it wasn't translated to プラットフォーム, but even google translates it to "Plathome": プラットホーム platform.

 

And then it just became the cute name  "Home", instead of Noriba. Although you do still here -ban-sen and -ban-noriba quite a lot.

Edited by stevenh
Link to post

Back in the olden days (I'm not sure how far back off the top of my head), "advanced" katakana combinations such as "フォ" (fo), "ヴィ" (vi) were not yet in use, so a lot of vocabulary "imported" particularly during the Meiji period is rendered using the base katakana combinations and that "spelling" has mostly stuck. Hence  "ベトナム" rather than "ヴィエトナム" for "Vietnam".

  • Like 1
Link to post

There is also the merging of the vowel in “form” and the diphthong in “home” in Japanese pronunciation. It leads to confusion in translation too. I was constantly correcting “code” to “cord” when I worked with translators. Just down the road from where I am now is a supermarket with the name “ Foodholes” with the intention, I guess, of “Foodhalls”. Someone should have checked a dictionary.

  • Like 2
Link to post
On 7/6/2019 at 10:55 AM, ben_issacs said:

My guess is that it comes from British signalling practice, which the Japanese used for many years.

In the British system, the signal protecting the station platform is called the 'Home' signal, so the Japanese have decided that the 'Home' signal protects something called 'Home' which is the station platform.

 

I have to disagree, Bill. In British safeworking practice, and so by extension Australian and Japanese, the home signal doesn’t protect the platform as such. The classic definition was that a home signal protects an obstruction such as points or a level crossing. These days the definition is slightly different - a home signal protects points or other identified risk. You can have a home signal without any platforms - examples being crossing or refuge loops located away from stations. 

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

Link to post
bill937ca

I've come across a slightly different translation in a guide to station announcements.

 

Ho-muホームPlatform

 

I imagine English speakers couldn't pronounce this and it got bastardized to "home".

 

https://jpninfo.com/25916

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...