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Debate swirls over best abbreviation for McDonald's

57 Comments

Like many foreign loan words, fast-food giant McDonald's is often abbreviated by the Japanese in everyday conversation. But, asks J-Cast, is it “Maku” or “Makudo?"

Tokyo natives often call the restaurant “Maku,” while those from Osaka typically refer to it as “Makudo.” The debate over the “official” abbreviation unexpectedly became a national topic when Osaka-born Keisuke Honda, star player of Japan's World Cup soccer team, was heard calling the chain “Makudo” on television.

Internet forums lit up following the comment, with some arguing that Honda, a nationwide superstar, single-handedly made the official name “Makudo.”

In a television interview prior to Japan's game against Paraguay, Honda commented, “I've never been nervous in a match. I was more nervous when I had to order something at 'Makudo' while abroad.”

This comment apparently sparked the surprisingly intense debate. Osaka and Tokyo exert influence over wide swathes of Japan, contributing to slight differences in accent, dialects and even culture in their respective regions.

According to an Internet polling agency, 84.4% of those in east Japan polled call the restaurant chain “Maku.” In west Japan, on the other hand, 52.3% surveyed prefer “Makudo.” A total of 427 were polled.

The debate rages on for now. But as one Tokyoite, posting on an Internet forum, reasons, “No one asks for 'Morning Makudo,' or a 'Big Makudo,' right?”

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

57 Comments
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I cannot sleep until this is resolved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why can't they use the American nickname? I guess in Romaji it would be Mikidi.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In France they say makudo as well. How about KFC? When does the kenta vs kentaki debate heat up?

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maku is a pasocon

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There's plenty of contractions for fastfood outlets out there. But there's only 2 that I can remember, that's "Bee-Kei" and "Kuso"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is everybody forgetting First Kitchen?

Fakkin.

Has to be the best.

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Tokyo vs Osaka "dialects" are really splitting hairs. I've lived in Osaka and lots (most) people say "Maku"... then one guy from Osaka says "Makudo" and everybody goes "oooooooh Osaka dialect" (although it's just as common in Tokyo.)

Personally I call McDonalds Maccas and the Yanks never know what I'm talking about...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great to see the Japanese media tackling the big issues of the day.

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Artery-clogging cholesterol by any other name would kill as fast....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I call it "Muck".

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And McDonald's gets all the publicity.

Why not debate on a Japanese food chain.

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@Bogi. LOL!!

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Maccas of course.

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I like Scrote's suggesttion. I also like FAT. FOOD... ALMOST. TRANSFATS

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East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet. RK

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How about pronouncing it the English way.... Wow can they do it?

I the states lots of abbr. for it. I like Mickey D's. But until Japanese can actually pronounce the real way to say it, who cares.

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wow seriously people have no lives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I heard that in India it is called "Migdee". I kind of like "Kenta" for KFC.

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I saw a 'MacLionels' in China which sounds almost the same when pronounced by the locals there.

Apart from Makudo and Maku, I am sure I have heard many J people calling it Mak-ku. Anyone?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Typical J-fad. Just because the flavour of the month says "makudo" everyone wants to say it that way.

This will all be forgotten in 2 weeks and we'll be back to the usual kanto= makku, kansai= makudo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just call it "HTC". Heart attack city. I limit my eating of fast food to 1-2 per month. Trying to live a little longer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How 'bout "Raunchy Ronnie's"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MrDog, 2 weeks? Forget it.

This has been going on for at least 10 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like Mos Burger MUCH better. i am bejitarian and Mos just has more choices for me. Mossan is cuter than that giant scary clown too. But MrDog may be correct this time.. kanto=makku, kansai=makudo.. i have also heard it said as makku-D. Say any of these to someone and they will guess you mean the same place ne?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about McCrap? Of all the great places to eat in Japan, why would anyone waste their money there?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Might not be available everywhere, usually in JR stations.

Is Beckers, their Fish-Sand is divine, they also offer good coffee, fries, Poutine(for the Canadians), Croissant, Beer, etc.

Mos-Burger right now is doing "Nan-Tacos"(Yummy) again.

Don't really care what McDonalds is called, most of my friends call it MickeyD.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nandakandamanda what I means was, kanto fools will will be saying "makudo" for 2 weeks or so, then it'll all revert to normal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MuckDonalds, Bugger King or Kentucky Fried Cruelty. Doesn't matter what you call them, they're still greasy junk food.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pukey2.

Yep greasy junkfood that goes through your body faster than most laxatives(hence fast food) but we keep going back for more. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The East-West Japanese divide is really interesting, for example anyone noticed the different elevator etiquette? The "fast" lane is on different sides.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Big Mac = Heart Attack! Most disgusting "food" in the world. I've been told "Moss-Burger" (the Japanese MacDonalds) is almost as awful.

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Mos is ok, burgers are grilled to order.

It is the side-dishes for me. Onion-rings and proper fries(not the oily, saggy rubbish McD calls fries).

Mos also has some nice annuals like the Nan-tacos, etc.

Granted still junkfood and better burgers can be had.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I still cringe at the fact "Ronald McDonald" is called "Donald McDonald" here.

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It is great that young people, rather than educating themselves about the crumbling Japanese financial situation, the pitiful political non-offerings and a social fabric that seems to be unlocking itself, are able to tackle important issues that have no importance in any, single context whatsoever.

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@GDemmons: well spoken!

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Just call it "HTC". Heart attack city.

Think that tag's already taken... http://www.heartattackgrill.com/

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So now we have established in the posts above that there are 4 ways to say it, Maku, Mak-ku, Mak-ku-D, (is that '-Dee' or '-Day'?)& Makudoh, besides the real Katakana MakudDonarudoh McCoy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

(Sigh. Preview not working again.) Change that to MakuDonarudoh please!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just use "Maccas" though I love KFC the best .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In China and Taiwan, in Mandarin, it's called MAI DON LAO

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Makku or Mac will do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

just call it crap, cuz thats what it is.

'Hey, let's go eat crap for lunch today!'

It works

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Easy...

Ronald eats at Maku Donald eats at Makudo

0 ( +0 / -0 )

with so many things to worry about in this world today - this. yikes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hilarious! I like sharpie's idea.

I actually heard my student exclaim he was going to 'Maku' after school today and I was like 'Who?' It's slightly disturbing that kids get so fired up about going there. Parents, please 'treat' your children to 'Maku' only once in while. Or better yet, take the home and give them some fruit!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's Makku for Tokyoites. Call it anything else over here and people will look at you funny. Don't even try pronouncing it McDonald's with an American accent. People will have no idea what you just said.

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Point for the article being abbreviations; I get it. Arafo. Akeome. Bye Bye (バイバイ). It's outside the language it is trying to represent, and will always be outside. Just try to get a Frenchman to pronounce "th" and you will see what I mean. However, if the Japanese really want to accept English as an international language, they have got to quit this nonsense. French people get it, the Japanese do not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Meh, we call in Miki-D here in the midwest US. Up to Japan to create their own nickname.

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It's Mc D! Just Google Mc D.

http://www.google.co.jp/search?hl=ja&source=hp&q=Mc+D&lr=&aq=f&aqi=g2g-s1g1g-s1g3g-s1g-r1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

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How about we let everyone call it what they like, as long as people around them know what they're talking about. I don't expect people in Japan to call it Miki D like here int he west, so Tokyo and Osaka people just need to leave each other be.

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Why is this even being discussed??????

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McDonald's themselves drifted into abbreviation-land a while back. For a while they were using "Micky-D's" in their advertisements. hmmm... ミキヂス Too cumbersome?

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Jesus some people have way too much time on their hands.

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The easiest abbreviation to say will be the one. Anyone know the abbreviation for the fast food chain, First Kitchen?

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In Canada or at least where I grew up it was Mickey-D's or McSh!ts. Why does there have to be an official everything here in Japan? So he said Makudo, big deal.

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I agree about pronouncing it properly. It takes me four or five times saying "McDonald's" to my students before they realize what I've said. If it appears in the course of a lesson I beat them down until they say it right. Not literally. But ... come on. It's actually important if they want to travel to the English-speaking world. If they ask where "makudonarudo" is, or worse, "makku," then they will be met with very confused stares.

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yeh its crap .......literally....if only they knew what was in them .....and the following smells that they cause; let alone health......but then most dont think about that when see the marketing/adverts while hungry

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