I haven’t written about Katakana words for a while but what our prime minister, Mr Suga, said the other day prompted me to write this today. He said that he was going to increase コマーシャル as a measure against the current corona virus outbreak. Does that make sense to you?

コマーシャル is a katakana transliteration of the English word “commercial” but コマーシャル in katakana usually means just “TV ads” regardless of who the advertising body is. So what the prime minister meant seems to be the government would increase the number of TV ads about physical distancing and/or not travelling unnecessarily.

So コマーシャルのあいだにトイレにきます means “I’ll go to the bathroom during an ad break.”

If you want to add the actual meaning of “commercial,” you usually need to use other words like 商業しょうぎょう (commerce), 民間みんかん (civilian, private), etc. instead of コマーシャル. For example:

  • commercial activities 商業活動しょうぎょうかつどう
  • commercial airlines 民間みんかん航空会社こうくうがいしゃ
  • commercial broadcaster 民間みんかん放送局ほうそうきょく

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends through your social media accounts. Also, for more katakana words whose meaning is different from the original English word can be found in my Katakana words page

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