Posted: Mar 03, 2019 8:51 pm
by Fallible
don't get me started wrote:On the subject of animal based foods and plurals (if that is an allowable segue) the way that English goes about pluralizing animals and the meat of animals is another pitfall for my students.

Japanese is like German in that the one is simply derived from the other.
Schwein (Pig) Schweinefleisch (Literally, Swine flesh)
豚 (Buta) = Pig. 豚肉 Buta Niku = (Literally pig meat)

English buggers around a bit.

Pig = Pork
Cow = Beef
Deer = Venison

But when we get to poultry, the animal and the meat use the same word.

Chicken = Chicken
Turkey = Turkey
Goose = Goose

The difference is that the animal word is countable ( one chicken, two chickens) but the meat word is not countable (I ate a lot of chicken)

Now, as I mentioned up thread, Japanese doesn't really do plurals and plurals in English are one of those things that often get forgotten in the stream of speech. ' I bought two new book' is a fairly common type of error.

So, when the students are talking about pets, they may come out with 'I like dog', meaning they enjoy the companionship of those animals (What Milan Kundera once beautifully described as 'Those merry ambassadors from the world of animals'..but I digress.) But seeing as they forgot the plural, what it actually means, is they like eating the flesh of canis familiaris.

Another one of those things that native speakers of a language know, but don't know they know, but language learners have to attend to.

Ah. Now if, for the sake of argument, a Japanese speaker does like to eat dog (I don't know of they do or not, but bear with me), how does one tell the difference, or is there a separate way of saying that? Or am I just very stupid, and they just add the word for 'eating'? :teef: