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Christa

Western food names

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Christa

Hi everyone,

 

I've sometimes found that the English loan words in Chinese that I sometimes use are not recongised everywhere that I use them. In particular regarding food.


For instance, for "hamburger" I personally would always say "汉堡".  However, it seems that that is only used in Taiwan and not in Mainland China.

 

It seems maybe that the word for "pizza" can vary as well.

 

Anyway, I've made a short list of terms below that I think are perhaps the standard terms used on the Mainland. What do you think of them? Do these seem like the words most commonly used for these western food names based on loan words?

 

 

Hamburger                 汉堡包

Pizza                            披萨

Sandwich                    三明治

Bagel                           贝果

Yogurt                         优格

Chocolate                   巧克力

Brownie                       布朗尼

Doughnut                    多拿滋

Croissant                    可颂

Cheese                        起司

Coke / Pepsi / Cola   可乐

McDonald's                 麦当劳

KFC                              肯德基

 

 

So, do you use these words yourself or do are there other terms for these western imports that you would consider more standard?

 

Be interested to hear what people think!

 


Christa

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54 minutes ago, Christa said:

For instance, for "hamburger" I personally would always say "汉堡".  However, it seems that that is only used in Taiwan and not in Mainland China.

 

汉堡 is used here on the mainland. The Burger King chain is 汉堡王。In addition to meaning a "hamburger sandwich" made with ground beef, 汉堡 is used as a generic term, such that you see things like 鸡腿堡 (chicken leg sandwich.) 

 

Quote

Yogurt                         优格

 

Yogurt is usually 酸奶。Cheese is usually 奶酪。

 

 

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ChTTay

Second that! Not sure why you think 汉堡 isn't on the mainland. Is there another word? 

 

甜甜圈 is donut. If I type it into my phone a little donut picture pops up. 

 

Never seen cheese referred to as 起司. It’s usually 奶酪 or 芝士 

Edited by ChTTay
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Jim

Croissant also often 牛角面包

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Tomsima
34 minutes ago, Jim said:

Croissant also often 牛角面包


interesting haha, ive only ever heard 羊角麵包

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Tomsima
3 hours ago, Christa said:

Cheese                        起司


芝士 is a more common phonetic translation on the mainland, but you'll more likely hear 奶酪 from my experience

also for doughnut I remember ive heard 甜甜圈 before, but don't know if thats just cute kiddy speak or normal usage...

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xinoxanu

The use of 奶酪 and 芝士 is indeed a weird one in Mainland China. Burger King, McDonald's and Pizza Hut usually use 芝士 in their product descriptions, but 奶酪 tends to be used instead when face to face with the staff.

Screenshot_20190605-210614.thumb.jpg.b3e308668a4d94886943931b58ec3771.jpg

 

And then you get Carrefour, a French company, that carries plenty of different cheese over here and can't make up its mind about what is what, even when it's the same and both products are place next to each other. Chinese is a weird language for sure.

 

Screenshot_20190605-210716.thumb.jpg.3cfbbb2914660ce7a2f0e12b4528de02.jpgScreenshot_20190605-210803.thumb.jpg.b1d5840ce4f787a57726a71353ca3943.jpgScreenshot_20190605-210815.thumb.jpg.4cc64fb1da9c74037c4a1ba76506749d.jpg

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Publius

I believe 芝士 is Cantonese influence. And Chinese is a language family, not a language.

 

堡 or 汉堡 is like the English suffix 'burger'. It gets attached to many things that are technically sandwiches. For example, I follow the McDonald's staff's suit and call McSpicy Chicken Fillet Burger 辣腿堡 or 腿儿堡.

 

I've never heard or seen 优格 used in my life. 酸奶 is a perfectly meaningful name that existed before there was Coca Cola or McDonald in mainland China.

 

I find most giggle inducing is the name 法棍. Yeah, that's baguette for you.

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Jim

I like chickpeas but always seems a toss-up whether they're sold as 鹰嘴豆 or 鸡嘴豆 and I have a feeling I've seen something else too like 埃及豆 but not. ETA Though a quick search says maybe it was:

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And it seems in Taiwan they can be 雪莲子

 

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Michaelyus

芝士 is definitely standard in Cantonese as well as mainland Mandarin. 

起司 is most common in Taiwan Mandarin, as well as usual in Malaysia and Singapore.

 

I wonder how long it'll take for 酸奶 to be distinguished from 芝士/起司 - I see the beginnings of a prestige-based split.

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Publius

Agree.

Like 樱桃/车厘子, 葡萄/提子, 李子/布朗.

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Publius

So how is "Who Moved My Cheese" translated in Taiwan? Not 誰動了我的奶酪?

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murrayjames

Another interesting transliterated food name is 曲奇 (qūqí) for cookie, as found in 冰淇淋曲奇. I have also seen the word 曲奇饼 (qūqíbǐng), which I am tempted to translate as “cookie cookie.”

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Ema

Hi Christa,

Studying Chinese here in Italy, Ive been taught 比萨饼 for pizza! 

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xinoxanu
1 hour ago, Publius said:

And Chinese is a language family, not a language.

 

A rather condescending comment, if I may say so, and totally unnecessary in a post about food. 

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Christa

So "汉堡" and "披萨" are both fine to use in the Mainland?

 

That's a relief...

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xinoxanu
29 minutes ago, Christa said:

So "汉堡" and "披萨" are both fine to use in the Mainland?

 

That's a relief...

 

Well, yes... but if you ask for those while in here you'll find that instead of a quarter pound with cheese you'll receive a fried chicken breast with a single leaf of lettuce on a thousand island "buttered" bun. And if you ask for pizza you'll receive a fruit salad on a piece of cardboard and complimentary milk tea refill.

 

I have a Napolitano friend that got over the infamous pineapple pizza issue 24h after having landed here. Ah, If world issues were fixed as simply as a Chinese interpretation on a western dish, we could spend more time studying this beautiful family of languages instead of watching visceral news day after day...

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陳德聰
1 hour ago, xinoxanu said:

A rather condescending comment, if I may say so, and totally unnecessary in a post about food. 

Well then I'll bring it to full condescension with another accurate statement about language, and tell you that there is little, if not nothing about Chinese that is particularly more weird than any other language from a linguistics standpoint, and your comment was unnecessary first, in a post about food.

 

As a tyrannical mod, I'll take the last word on that in this thread about food, please and thanks.

 

Anyways, if we're talking about pizza, I have seen 披薩 and 批薩 and 比薩餅. Do non-Cantonese speakers say 薄餅?

 

曲奇 sounds like "kuk-kei" in Cantonese so that is a likely origin.

 

 

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xinoxanu

 

2 minutes ago, 陳德聰 said:

As a tyrannical mod, I'll take the last word on that in this thread about food, please and thanks.

 

Lol. I'll take the ban-hammer if I must as long as the following doesn't get deleted, but come on, I think the most unnecessary comment in this post was yours, with a moderation threat after a single complain. You win.

 

I speak 5 languages and yes, all of them are weird, and remarking on that shouldn't be an issue, especially considering that the distinction I was talking about is indeed a weird one compared to the word "cheese", which  encompasses a wide selection of curated and fresh milk products. So yeah, Chinese is weird in this case and as learners of the language it's a pretty common statement that we all have said and heard.

 

In any case, the issue here was with Plubius correcting me on the use of the word "Chinese", which is perfectly fine in English to refer to Mandarin/Cantonese without counting the other dozens of sinitic languages. What can we do, we westerners are limited when it comes to understanding foreign cultures... Also it's the second time today I have this same argument with a Chinese person so I jumped at it. My bad, more self-control would be great but gotta spend the time studying Chinese to avoid these mistakes.

 

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Shelley

I don't think @Publius was in anyway trying to be condescending.

 

I think he was just trying to make the point that one should expect lots of variation in translations as there is lot of variation in the language. 

 

I don't think its any different to food names round the world, I know foods that are called one thing in the south of the UK but up north in Scotland are called something completely different. Its all still English just different uses and dialects.

 

If it was me and I wanted to order a cheeseburger I would ask a friend or teacher what are cheeseburgers called round here. You just have to find out what is used where you are and go with it. You could go 10 miles down the road and find they call it something different. 

 

That is language, that is life.

 

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