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Priscilla86
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:43:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/28/2014
Posts: 902
Neurons: 4,009
Location: Lavender, Singapore
I just learned something interesting and I thought I'd share it here.

I went to Japan recently and found myself at a sushi restaurant one night. I wanted to order sake and since I didn't speak the language and the waiter only spoke limited English, I kept my words to the minimum and said to him: "sake?"

He brought me the list - all in Japanese - so I just pointed blindly to one of the items. He then said "Okay, one beer," and I said, "No, sake." He looked perplexed for a moment but then had a light bulb moment and pointed to a section on the list and said, "Japanese sake."

I thought nothing of it until last night I read about sake and found out that "sake" actually means "liquor" in Japanese. Outside Japan, it is understood that when you order sake, you mean the famous Japanese rice wine but in Japan itself, "sake" can refer to any alcoholic beverage.

Furthermore, the beverage referred to as "sake" in the English-speaking world is usually called 'nihonshu' (meaning Japanese liquor)in Japan. No wonder the waiter said "Japanese sake" which I thought was weird because I assumed the "Japanese" part was implied.

It's amazing how one could do ungodly amount of research before a trip and still managed to miss something as fundamental as this one.

This got me thinking of other words which have been corrupted in similar fashion. "Cheongsam" and "Bahasa" come to mind.

I have to admit I didn't know "cheongsam" was not the term used in China to refer to the well-known Chinese dress until Romany wrote about it in another thread.

And it irks me whenever someone uses "bahasa" to mean the national language of Indonesia. "Bahasa" means "language" so it could be anything. One jarring example is in Indonesian beauty pageants where the host would ask "Do you want to answer in English or Bahasa?"

That's literally asking "Do you want to answer in English or Language?" The only acceptable answer to that question is "No. I'd like to answer in a series of grunts like a caveman."

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:14:40 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
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Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Thanks Priscilla,

I didn't know that, either. So all these years of ordering Sake, one was just asking for any old booze? I guess they must be used to us dumb foreigners, huh?

You are so very right too that it's not until we actually get to countries that we find out how much of what we 'know' is faulty!
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:15:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,221
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Pricilla,

Your server in Japan treated you with graciousness. But should he have taken offense at your ignorance? You mention that even with study you missed out on some information.

In like manner, people not from Indonesia will be ignorant of many details of your culture. You have a choice: be gracious, or take offense.

It seems to me that in today’s world, too many are eager to take offense even when none is intended.


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
Maryam Dad
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 5:22:11 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/13/2013
Posts: 672
Neurons: 3,403
Funny (or ironic?) I think that it was foreigners (most likely Westerners) who first incorrectly used 'bahasa' then we just follow them. They are cool, aren't they?

"And the sun and the moon are brought together --" (Al Qiyamah: 9)
almo 1
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 9:28:53 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 962
Neurons: 4,329
Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan
Priscilla86 wrote:
I just learned something interesting and I thought I'd share it here.



I went to Japan recently and found myself at a sushi restaurant one night.



So how was the taste of sake in the sushi bar/restaurant?
too sweet? or too hot? or bitter? how much did you drink?


That is the important part I'd love to hear about.






Priscilla86
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:48:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/28/2014
Posts: 902
Neurons: 4,009
Location: Lavender, Singapore
almo 1 wrote:


So how was the taste of sake in the sushi bar/restaurant?
too sweet? or too hot? or bitter? how much did you drink?


That is the important part I'd love to hear about.




None of the above. It was just the right amount of sweetness with the most beautiful aroma. It was served in a rather unusual pot (for me, at least. Apology in advance for the super huge photo, I have no idea how to adjust the size):



The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 5:44:24 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/2015
Posts: 1,014
Neurons: 324,031
Location: Dzerzhinskiy, Moskovskaya, Russia
Priscilla86 wrote:
None of the above. It was just the right amount of sweetness with the most beautiful aroma.

Sake sucks! You go for vodka:



Quote:
Apology in advance for the super huge photo, I have no idea how to adjust the size):

I use Paint on my MS Windows computer to downsize images. But then you need to upload the downsized picture on the Internet. It is not the same as just to cut and paste an existing link.

აბა ყვავებს ვინ დაიჭერს, კარგო? გალიაში ბულბულები ზიან.
almo 1
Posted: Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:44:11 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 962
Neurons: 4,329
Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan

Drinking vodka straight makes you crazy!












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