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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.

ex.
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:

SensorTasteFoodsChemicalsJapanese
AdjectiveNoun
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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