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Daily Nihongo (2003 - 2004)


torakris
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I will post a new Japanese word everyday to help give some insight into Japanese food culture and maybe even help you out in restaurants! :biggrin:

Who knows, maybe by the end of the year you will be fluent!

here is the first word:

いただきます

itadakimasu (ee-tah-dak-kee-masu)

This is said before eating a meal, it is an expression of appreciation for the food and translates as "I will recieve".

It is said in the home at every meal, by everybody and is said in group unison at school's before lunch. it can also be said in restaurants, not necessarily to the chef, but to the others at the table to let them know you will start eating. If you plan on eating you should know this word.

OK everyone repeat after me:

itadakimasu

For the duration of this thread please refer to me as Kris-sensei (sensei meaning teacher)! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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"I will receive" is probably something I should say before I open any thread in the Japan forum. :biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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A bit of history.

"Itadakimasu" is the formal version of the verb "itadaku", which now means "to receive" but originally comes from from the noun "itadaki", which now means "summit", and used to mean "top". People would raise their rice bowls to the host when receiving food as a way of signifying that the host's food was "above them" and was coming from the host to them. As well, rice is traditionally not only the summit or point of a meal, life flows down from it by making life possible.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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word for 4/27:

ごちそうさまでした

gochisousamadeshita (pronounced just like it looks)

This means "It was a feast" or simply is thanks for the meal. This should be said after every meal, to show thanks for the meal just eaten. As with itadakimasu this is said in group unison at school when everyone has finished.

This can be said to the person who prepared the meal (at a home or in a restaurant) to the person who paid for the meal, if you had been treated, and to no one in general as sort of an announcement that you have finshed eating. It is often shortened to gochisosama in more informal instances.

everyone repeat after me:

gochisosamadeshita

Edited by torakris (log)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Gochisousamadeshita: Go means "honourable." Chisou means "feast" (or "entertainment"). Sama originally meant "lord," and is a way of turning a noun into a personification. Deshita means "was" or "were." So it is a thanking of the host for providing the meal. "You were an honourable host."

A more relaxed form is to change the "sama" to "san", as in "gochisousan".

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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word for 4/28:

美味しい  おいしい

OISHII (oh-ee-sheee)

this means delicious

You will often hear young girls saying this in a squealing pig voice, lengthening all the i's by about 3

oiiii-shiiii

men often say it as a sort of a short, curt announcement, often substituting it with the more masculine version, UMAI.

OK repeat after me:

OISHII

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 4/29

まずい

mazui (mah-zoo-ee)

bad tasting, the opposite of oishii

this can refer to the food as well as the restaurant, bakery, etc

repeat after me:

mazui

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 4/30

辛い 

karai (kah-rah-ee)

spicy, spicy hot, salty-spicy

If you see this kanji (Chinese character) 辛 on a Japanese food package or menu you know the food will be spicy.

The Japanese also use this to mean salty-spicy pronounced shio-kara (塩辛 ), shio meaning salt. There are a group of foods that are collectively referred to as shiokara, the most popular being ika no shiokara (salty-spicy squid with its entrails pickled in salt)

So they next time you have a piece of sushi that has a litttle too much wasabi on it, feel free to announce to your table mates, "Karai!" :biggrin:

Edited by torakris (log)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/1:

甘い

amai (ah-mah-ee)

this means sweet or sweet tasting

so with these words amai and karai you can now read the boxes or curry roux! :biggrin:

mild--甘口 amakuchi -- sweet tasting (the second kanji means mouth, but in this instance, flavor or tasting)

medium--中辛 chuukara -- medium spicy (the first kanji means middle or medium)

spicy--辛口 karakuchi -- spicy tasting (the second kanji is the same as for amakuchi)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/3:

しょっぱい

shoppai (sho-pah-ee)

salty

I hesitate to teach this word to everyone because according to every dictionary I looked in, it is not a word! Yet it is a word uttered by every japanese on a regular basis, typing it into yahoo japan gives over 44,000 hits describing evrything from the saltiness of tears to sea water to food). I have spent the past couple days quizzing friends and neighbors on the origins of this word and its non-presence in dictionaries despite the fact whenever I asked someone how to say salty in Japanese they all answered shoppai.

If anyone knows anything about this word, i would love to hear about it, my curiosity has been peaked!

Feel free to use it at random the Japanese all do!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I hesitate to teach this word to everyone because according to every dictionary I looked in, it is not a word!

whenever I asked someone how to say salty in Japanese they all answered shoppai.

I remember when I was first learning Japanese, and reading in some dictionary that 'salty' was 'shio-karai.' Nobody really seems to use it at all, although a lot of people use just 'karai' to mean salty. I assumed it was a regional thing, but thinking about it now I'm not so sure. Maybe Kansai?

I just asked my boyfriend about the origins of shoppai, and he made something up about it being derived from shio-ppai (like suppai is from su, meaning vinegar - shio is salt). Although I kind of doubt it, he could be right?

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Margaret,

I had a group of 10 Japanese women in an all out discussion about it, none of them couldn't believe it wasn't in the dictionary it is such an everyday word.

They came to the consensus it was probably an abbreviation of shio-poi (like or ~ish), similar to kodomo-poi (childlike) or aka-poi (reddish).

Then yesterday at a BBQ with some Japanese friends I asked again and they though it might be an abbreviation of shio-ippai (ippai meaning a lot or full).

So who knows? On Tuesday I am going to ask my daughter's Kumon Kokugo teacher, she is a Japanese language teacher she should know.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/4:

苦い

nigai (nee-gah-ee)

bitter

Though the Japanese treasure this flavor and are quite fond of using bitter foods, it is interesting to note that the chinese character used for this word is the same character as for kurushii (苦しい) which means painful, afflicting, tormenting... :blink:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/5:

旨み 旨味 うまみ

umami (oo-mah-mee)

there is no direct translation for this taste sensation which means something along the lines of "savoriness" or even "tastiness". It is difficult to describe, but foods like wine, soy sauce, mushrooms, aged cheese, etc are very high on the umami list.

for more information look here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4459306,00.html

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/6

あっさり

assari (ahs-sah-ree) the two s's are sort of like one long s

this is used to describe food that light, plain, simple, subtle flavored, no strong or oily favors.

Think of foods like ohitashi (cooked vegetables in a dashi broth).

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/7:

さっぱり

sappari (sahp-pah-ree)

this is very similar to word we learned yesterday, assari, it means light but in a more refreshing sense, sappari foods usually contain acid in some form from citrus to vinegar. Think of sunomonos (vinegared dishes). some sunomono:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=19&t=19462&

Now you are on your way to be able to understand the comments made on the Iron Chef in Japanese!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/8

脂っこい

aburakkoi (ah-boo-rah--koh-ee, with a slight pause before the k)

this means oily in both good and bad ways, but more often bad.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Yes.

Oilyness, fattiness, is just not understand in Japanese cuisine. Thus the dislike of fatty (also thought of as "smelly") fish such as saba (mackerel) for sushi. And the shallowness of grilled meat dishes compared to the profoundity of most other Japanese dishes.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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word for 5/9

濃い

koi (koh-ee)

this refers to food that is either thick or strong tasting, not necessarily in a bad way.

You might hear people say that food in Kanto (Tokyo area) is more koi then in Kansai (Osaka-Nara-Kyoto areas), this just means it is usually heavier on the soy and other seasonings.

for example:

koi kohi 濃いコーヒー strong coffee

koi supu 濃いスープ thick soup

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/10

薄い

usui (oo-soo-ee)

this is the opposite of koi (strong tasting) and when referring to food can mean

light or pale in color

thin referring to a soup or a sauce

weak referring to coffee, tea, any flavor in general

this is part of the word for the light in color (not taste!) usukuchi soy sauce.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/11:

干す

hosu (hoe-soo)

this means dry, but dry in a good way as in on purpose.

so for example you will see it in these words:

干ししいたけ hoshishiitake (dried shiitake)

梅干umeboshi (dried "pickled" plums)

干物himono or hoshimono (literally "dried things" dried fish being some of the most popular)

Edited by torakris (log)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/12:

堅い

katai (kah-tah-ee)

tough or hard, talking about food it is usually referring to meat, though you could probably let out a "katai na...!" when trying to open a coconut shell.

Edited by torakris (log)

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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word for 5/13:

柔らかい  やわらかい

yawarakai (yah-wah-rah-kah-ee)

this means tender or soft the opposite of yesterdays katai.

this is what you will pronouce after taking your first bite of Kobe steak,

"Yawarakaiiiiiiiii!!!!"

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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