Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This question brought to you by the existence of カレー味のラムネ

In my head, the reading here is あじ。 But I know 七味唐辛子{しちみとうがらし}, so it seems like as a counter it's み。

I'm almost 100% sure that カレーの味 would be "あじ", but what about カレー味?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

七味{しちみ} itself is a morpheme with a Chinese original, thus the 音読み{おんよみ} 七味{しちみ}. The pronunciation rooted from ancient Chinese. 酸味{さんみ} is a similar example.

In the contrary, カレーの味 and カレー味 are lexical items clearly not rooted from Chinese words. カレー味 contains 2 free morphemes カレー and 味{あじ}. So, a 訓読み{くんよみ}, 味{あじ}, would be appropriate in this case.

There are many examples provided by this snack: うまい棒

You can see they have listed a lot of flavors there. Most of them are combinations of a Western origin word + 味{あじ}


For 塩味{しおあじ}, a thing 塩{しお} that actually exists make it quite detachable , resulting free morphemes しお + あじ. It is very like the カレー+あじ in the original question. However, like 辛味 it is heavily linked together. One thing you could check is, try adding a の between to see if it makes sense. Like 塩の味{しおのあじ} makes sense, but things like 辛の味{からのあじ} doesn't make sense.

Also, you can see 辛味{からみ} 甘味{あまみ} 苦味{にがみ} are basic tastes the one could sense. The pure sensory counterpart for salty is 鹹味{かんみ}

share|improve this answer
What about cases like 紅茶味? Still あじ? – nkjt Jun 7 '13 at 12:03
Yes we have [紅茶味]{こうちゃあじ} [抹茶味]{まっちゃあじ} [塩味]{しおあじ} [醤油味]{しょうゆあじ} グリーンアップル[味]{あじ} etc. and [辛味]{からみ} [甘味]{あまみ} [苦味]{にがみ} [風味]{ふうみ} うま[味]{み}... and 「プリッツ[七味味]{しちみあじ}」 :D – user1016 Jun 7 '13 at 12:17
紅茶 + Yes, it is still あじ – kevinamadeus Jun 7 '13 at 12:21
Okay, so ~あじ for specific flavours and ~み for more generic tastes like sweet, sour... but it's not 塩味{えんみ}? Or is it like the difference between "salty" and "salted"? – nkjt Jun 7 '13 at 12:32
@nkjt We also have [塩味]{しおみ} and [塩気]{しおけ} for "saltiness" but 塩味 is normally read しおあじ. Casually we say しょっぱい, [塩味]{しおあじ}が強い/きつい, [塩]{しお}が多い/きつい for "(too) salty". I also say [辛]{から}い (but maybe it's only in Kansai.) – user1016 Jun 7 '13 at 12:57

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.