Here are a few examples of Japanese words and phrases that, when said out loud, sound like English:
ハマチ : hamachi (Japanese meaning: Yellowtail sushi) – Sounds like: “How much?”
いつ相撲終わる？ : itsu sumo owaru? (Japanese meaning: When does the Sumo end?) – Sounds like: “It’s a small world.”
ほった芋いじんな : Hotta imo ijinna (Japanese meaning: Leave those potatoes alone) – Sounds like: ”What time is it now?”
In Japanese, numbers’ pronunciation can also sometimes be adapted to form words. Like…
37564 – みなごろし : Massacre (In this example, 3 – usually pronounced “san” – is pronounced “mi” (as it is in words such as ３日間 – “mikkakan” or “three days”. 7 – “nana” – gets shortened to “na”. And so on…)
18782 – いやなやつ : Unpleasant guy (above?) Time to use sneaky number codes around mean guys.
4649 – よろしく : Nice to meet you, please treat me well!
What kind of Japanese wordplay do you know? Little things make studying Japanese interesting and more fun, don’t you think?