Word of the Day

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Japanese birodo, velvet

I wonder why the Japanese word is ビロード (birodo), from Portuguese veludo, velvet. They could have ru/lu there: ビルド (birudo) or ベルド (berudo). I don't doubt that some Portuguese speakers may pronounce (I don't) the ve there as vi, as that syllable is unstressed, and that's how Japanese got bi, but ro (ロ) instead of ru (ル)? Such things may happen as a speaker does not hear the sounds of a foreign word, but from lu to ro?

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