Posted by: grantmiho | January 23, 2011

Indian Viking

Recently, we had lunch with Miho’s dad. Thinking of me, he tried to take us to a buffet that served Western food. However, it was no longer there. But, we found an Indian buffet. Since most Japanese meal portions are rather small for American standards, buffets are rare and atypical. It is not often that I walk away completely stuffed.

Japanese foreign-word selection is quite interesting. For some reason, buffet here is called “Viking.” A “Drink Viking” is sometimes offered at restaurants, meaning you get free refills. It is not completely clear how my dear Scandinavian ancestors are related to all-you-can-eat establishments. Then, the image of an “Indian Viking” makes me chuckle as my imagination runs wild šŸ™‚

Some foreign words make total sense, while others can be confusing. For instance, coffee is “co-he,” a tie is “neku-ti,” and bread is “pan” (the French word for bread). Confusing ones include pants (“zubon”), part-time job (“alubaito”), an expensive apartment (“manshon”), and stapler (“hocchi kisu”). If this was not enough, the Kanji alphabet (Chinese characters) can be read two different ways: Onyomi (Chinese) and Kunyomi (Japanese). So, each word that I memorize might be pronounced several ways. Fun times šŸ™‚

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