Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sign(s) for Pork - Asian Supermarket

Today I noticed this character 豚 indicating the pork section at an Asian supermarket in Fairfax, VA. Although it features the "pig" radical (豕), this character is actually different from what I'm accustomed to seeing in Mandarin Chinese (where "pork" is written 豬肉 - literally, "pig meat"). In Japanese, pork is written 豚肉(ぶたにく = butaniku). Evidently the same characters 豚肉 can be used in Korean too, although I don't know what the pronunciation would be.

P.S. In Chinese 豬 can mean either "pig" or "boar" (hence when you see 豬年 on one of those Chinese Zodiac charts it's sometimes translated as "Year of the Pig" or "Year of the Boar"). In Japanese, the character 豚 is reserved only for "pig" while 豬 means "boar."

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