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Subject: tastes
From: TAKASUGI Shinji (tssf.airnet.ne.jp)
Date: Fri, 04 Oct 2002 08:45:49 GMT
References: 1

If you want to give a Japanese name, find a real one used in Japan. Don't use bare adjectives; they sound silly. In addition, unlike the English word sweet, the corresponding Japanese word amai usually means a bad thing when used metaphorically.

amai kangae (literally: a sweed idea): naive and superficial idea
kodomo ni amai (literally: being sweet to children): being indulgent to children

Just for your interest, I list Japanese words for tastes below:

taste budssweetsugar, fruitssucrose, fructose甘い (amai)甘味 (amami)
sourvinegar, lemonacetic acid, citric acid酸っぱい (suppai)酸味 (sammi)
saltsaltsodium chloride塩辛い (shiokarai),
しょっぱい (shoppai)
塩味 (shioaji)
bittercoffee, chocolatecaffeine, theobromine苦い (nigai)苦味 (nigami)
umamisoy sauce, cheeseglutamate, inosinate*うま味 (umami)
tongue and
mucous membrane
hotpepper, gingercapsaicin, gingerol辛い (karai)辛味 (karami)
astringenttea, winetannin渋い (shibui)渋味 (shibumi)
acrid#bamboo shoothomogentisic acid,
oxalic acid
えぐい (egui)えぐ味 (egumi)

* The adjective うまい (umai) means being tasty. It doesn't necessarily mean having umami taste.
# English doesn't distinguish bitterness and acridity.

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