I've always wondered why the Japanese word for bread was written in katakana instead of hiragana, and why it sounded so similar to the Italian word for bread. Lately I've been playing my Japanese Word Coach ds game more and I finally learned why this was. The Japanese word for bread, パン (pan), comes from the Portuguese way of saying it, pão. So no wonder I found it strangely similar since it derives from one of the Romance languages, but honestly I think it sounds way more like the Italian; pane. Wouldn't you agree?