Monday, April 29, 2013

スタバ (Sutaba)

スタバ  is short for Starbucks.  The full word in katakana is スターバックス, but colloquially people usually leave out the -クス.

As in むずい, one might see a penchant forth shortening of words, but whereas むずい is a contraction of a Japanese word, スタバ is an easy-to-say version of an imported word, as is マック (Makku,), the Kanto region's abbreviation for McDonald's (I'm sorry, I can't recall the Kansai word for McDonald's, but I remember that it is different.)

Well, in the end, it sounds reasonable to suppose that abbreviations are all there because they're easier to say.  I have wondered how Kentucky Fried Chicken became ケンタッキー(Kentakki-); is it really easier than saying KFC?  Maybe for speakers of Japanese. . .

I came across someone's blog entry about his experience at a Starbucks in Ginza.  Having had some similar experiences, I understand what he's saying, but other Starbucks (and cafés in general) can be quite different.  Much has been written to help foreigners to the country in developing a set of expectations, the better to navigate the culture, but I've found more variety and diversity here than I've read.

Anyway, the blog entry is here:
http://www.japaneseruleof7.com/navigating-a-japanese-starbucks/
The writer, a man named Ken Seeroi, has some things to say. . .I haven't read much of it, but I'll have to go back and check it out again.


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