In Spanish we have lots of dishes whose names refer to the main ingredients it has. For example "arroz con pollo" (rice and chicken), "arroz con leche" (rice and milk), or "pollo con papas" (chicken and potatoes).

The first is a main course, the second is a dessert and the third is kind of fast food and a main course.

The options I have is translate using と, like チキンとライス, or write in katakana the Spanish name, アロスコンポイオ。


Japan doesn't seem to have an issue with using Spanish words for food (at least, not if パエリア is any indication). If we look on Wikipedia for arroz con pollo, we can see that their transcription is "アロス・コン・ポーヨ". That said, as with any language, you can use the native name if you want, but if the target culture has no concept of what it is, you're going to be describing it anyway. I would guess that if you just say "チキンライス" or something it won't really get the point across of what arroz con pollo is, so whatever you choose to describe it with will need to be detailed anyway.

There are other things to be careful about too, though. For example, I just tried looking up arroz con leche, and it seems that in English we call it "Rice pudding," and the corresponding Japanese concept is called ミルヒライス, which is actually borrowed from German!

The short of it is just look it up and see if the thing you're trying to describe already exists in the collective Japanese consciousness. If it doesn't, then translate it as an explanation of what the dish is and include the Spanish if you want to, similar to how you would translate "natto" into other languages.

  • Thanks for the answer. I think it is very important to consider whether the person you are communicating with has any idea of the ingredients I mention. I am waiting for more answers, yours is very likely to be chosen as the answer. By the way, I also use Wikipedia articles to translate some terms. – Kookoriko Nov 7 '14 at 16:12

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