Monday, June 20, 2011

Tea Cup and (Sweet) Loanword in Japan♪

(I'll link this post to the tea-cup sites tomorrow)
A couple of days ago, my next neighbor gave me hydrangeas from her garden. I happened to expect some guests on that day and had some sweets ready from my favorite cake shop. I took pictures of the sweet present with the sweets.

Loanwords in Japan related with sweets♪
cream puff‥‥‥ "chou a la cream" in French as you all may know. But in Japanese we pronounce it pretty close to "shoe cream" probably from the french pronunciation. Some decades ago, my foreign English teacher got confused with my mistake and asked me what shoe-cream had to do with sweets.  We laughed a lot realizing Japanese is the language of great variety.
Mont Blanc‥‥‥In this case, pronunciation is the same. But almost all the young studets of mine (who don't have knowledge about the mountain) think that "Mont Blanc" means "chestnut" in English.   Haha, you know why.
cake rolls‥‥‥ we call them roll-cake

cake roll. tiramisu. coffee jelly cake  (I hope I'm calling them collectly)

PS;  In one of my precious comments on this post, Clarissa at Readable Blog put splendid comment which gives us more idea about these loanwords.  Somehow, I took it for granted that all friends here know the French word "chou a la cream" and the cake named "Mont Blanc".  How silly of me!!!  Oh, how generous of you and I cannot be thankful enough for you Clarissa♪♪♪
Please, do not miss reading her explanation.

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  1. Nice neighbor to share her pretty flowers! You have lovely teacups, too. Enjoy! xo,

  2. Hallo Orchid! I always love to see the photos of your beautiful china teacups and the lovely way in which you present your tray, with the flowers and cake! It all looks very inviting, I must say.I hope that the weather is better for you in Japan than it is in my part of England at the moment. It's chilly and heavy rain here :( Not much like summer my friend!

  3. Cute post orchid and it all looks delicious too !
    hugs, Amy

  4. A lovely topic ;) Very few American English speakers know the French word "choux à la crème." Some of those who bake know "choux pastry" (for the kind of pastry dough that cream puffs are made of). Some know another French word, "profiterole." That's for small cream puffs. We sometimes use that word here.

    For some reason, Mont Blancs are almost never seen in American bakeries. I don't know why. I have only seen them in Japanese bakeries here. (When I look on Wikipedia, it says "The Mont Blanc is popular in France, Italy, China, Japan, and Hungary." How sad for us...)

    And speaking of chestnuts, one common Japanese word for chestnut is another loanword from French--marron, right? :)

    Anyway, your tea time looks wonderful. :) As for your coffee jelly, I think it's actually what we would call a trifle! It looks like a layer of cake, a layer of cream, and a layer of coffee jelly. That kind of layered dessert is often called a parfait or trifle. ("Parfait" is not used as much in the US to describe an ice-cream-based dessert like in Japan; that's usually called a "sundae." "Parfait" is used more for layered things with yogurt or cream.)

  5. Orchid, what lovely pictures you have of a very elegant table. The flowers are very pretty and I do so love to make pastry.

    Here's to a lovely visit!

  6. Orchid...what a lovely "table" you present for your friends!!The flowers are beautiful and the teacups devine!!! Such a wonderful hostess you are!!! Thanks for sharing!!! :)

  7. The flowers are gorgeous! And the tea cup is so delicate. All very lovely!

  8. YOur friend was so nice to share her flowers and you so nice to share them with us!! I love your sweet little teacup Orchid, how petite and lovely. have a great day and thanks for sharing with Tea party Tuesday

  9. How lovely to meet another blogger from Japan. My son worked in your beautiful country for a little over a year a few years ago. He has shared the how gracious and polite the Japanese people were to him. Love this pretty teacup. It was truly a pleasure to meet you.

  10. Hello Orchid,
    thank you for this interesting story. We have in Germany some special problems with English words, as we have very similar words with different meaning. So we are always in danger to use them wrong. Which makes funny mistakes. Your tea cup is so dainty and sweet. Looks Japanese to me, is it? Thank you for sharing your wonderful tea time with gorgeous sweets.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  11. Your teacup is exquisite! Thank you for sharing such a lovely post today!

  12. Hi Orchid,
    Lovely post! The teacup is very pretty and the flowers are gorgeous! Interesting lesson on words too. Thank you for sharing this with Tea Time and have a beautiful day.


  13. What a gorgeous tea cup Orchid! I love it's pale shades of pinks and greens as well as the lovely shape of the cup. The flowers are beautiful as well, what a kind neighbor! Thank you for the interesting facts about loanwords, and the meaning of your name! I will not forget you : )

  14. This is such a delightful post! I love the different meanings of the words. "Shoe cream" - too funny! I have to tell you that your photos are just getting more beautiful as time goes by. Have a great week, my sweet friend.

  15. Hi: Thank you for joining Tea Cup Tuesday. I just love your post today. Have a wonderful week. Blessings, Martha

  16. Ha ha ha, I can almost imagine your foreign English teacher's face being confused about shoe-cream!! I can't think of anything right now but I think there are many such words :-)
    Your photos of tea cup, flower, and sweets (mmm!) are beautiful!!

  17. Dearest Orchid,

    The English language is a funny one and for sure for Japanese people it must be very hard to master!
    The 'Mont Blanc' is a funny one with double standards!
    Oh, your white Hydrangeas are so special, almost resembling lilacs. What a lovely setting with your teacups and sweets.

    Lots of love,


  18. What a beautiful post. Your tea time looks wonderful.

    Enjoyed the visit!

    Have a lovely upcoming weekend!