If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my travels around the world, it’s that food is the international language. We all need it and – whether we like to admit it or not – we all love it. A lot. It brings people together and, if we’re being honest, when someone offers you food you immediately like them a little bit better.
Cooking with another person is akin to learning everything there is to know about them (ladies, I’m serious. Pay close attention to your man next time he’s cooking…it’s telling) and – if you’ve done it right – you immediately become best friends. You don’t even have to speak the same language as someone to cook with them. Believe me, I’ve done it. Pointing and gesturing often does the trick and then, VOILA, you’ve created a scrumptious meal that’s cooked to perfection. A lot of smiling and “thumbs-upping” ensues while you enjoy the delicious meal together. You raise a glass to toast your success and you take a swig. That sound you’re making while you drink? You think “gulp” and they think “glyok glyok” – if they’re Bulgarian that is.
Turns out, while food may translate across all borders, the sounds we associate with it do not. That beautiful noise bacon makes while it’s frying fragrantly in the pan? In America it’s “sizzle,” in China it’s “zizi” and (my personal favorite) “jiguel” in Korean. That just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
New scenario. You’re at the movies with your German friend, Leisl. While you’re happily “chomping” away on your popcorn, she’s over there “mampf”ing”. Come on – I can’t be the only one that finds that to be funny.
For some reason, after stumbling on these translations, I find them to be fascinating. I can’t get enough! “Nam?” “Paku Paku?” You can’t make this stuff up!
All I can say is, next time you take a big “ggul gguk” of coffee, make sure it doesn’t burn your tongue.
Next experiment? Using them on friends and family: “How many times have I told you not to goku goku your tea?!” (After saying it, nod triumphantly. Congratulations – you just spoke another language. You’re worldly). Respond to their blank stare with the words, “I’m sorry, do you not speak Japanese? My mistake.” (Smile again).
If possible, food just became a whole lot more fun.
Images source First We Feast
Posted by Amy