August 27, 2009

Japanese Slang: With Karaoke Friends Like These...

One of the funner things to do in Japan is find a karaoke room and let loose. In America, my few karaoke experiences were open to the public (which was mostly hicks with handkerchiefs around their necks and other cowboy accouterments), so it's a very thankful thing to have just your buds with you when you belt one out. Today's slangy term is カラ友.
Karatomo Breakdown:
English gloss: karaoke friend
constructed from: kara+tomo
kara: from カラオケ (karaoke, which further breaks down to kara (empty) and oke (orchestra)
tomo: friend

Keep in mind karatomo could also mean "empty friend," but it doesn't ;-).
There is another couple of terms related to this. There is ヒトカラ (hitokara, going to karaoke not with friends, but hitori [alone]). There is also カラコン (karakon, a karaoke party). Do you recognize the kon part of that last term? It's related to a word I used last time, gōkon. Here is a karakon vid:

シャカリキボーイズ 投稿者 ROKUSASU0408

Yep it's the guys from yesterday. Here is another one (share my cheesy addiction):

[Japanese reference]