Fashion Vocabulary – English to Korean to Chinese

2016 December 6
by Angie

Ever wonder when shopping how to translate certain fashion words? Maybe you’re traveling to China or Korea and would like to be able to request certain things, or maybe you’re a Korean or Chinese native and would like to travel to each other’s respective countries.

Since it is a couple weeks past Thanksgiving, and it has started off the holiday shopping season, we want to teach you today about fashion words in Chinese and Korean. Don’t be afraid to do international shopping, if you know these words it can help save you money and troubles! Let’s learn fashion in three languages together.

English Korean Chinese
Cloth 衣服 [yīfu]
T-Shirt 반팔티 短上衣 [duǎnshàngyī]
T-Shirt 티셔츠 T恤 [txù]
Hoodie 후드 连帽卫衣[lián mào wèiyī]
Hoodie zip up 후드집업 开衫卫衣kāishān wèiyī
T-Shirt 티셔츠 T恤 [txù]
Vest 조끼 马夹 [mǎjiǎ]
Cardigan 카디건 开衫 [kāishān]
Denim shirt 데님셔츠 牛仔衬衫[niúzǎichènshān]
Denim jacket 청자켓 牛仔夹克[niúzǎijiākè]
Jeans 청바지 牛仔裤 [niúzǎikù]
Blouse/shirt/Dress shirt 블라우스/셔츠/와이셔츠 衬衫 [chènshān]
Chiffon blouse 쉬폰/시스루 블라우스 雪纺衬衫 xuě fǎng chènshān
Frill blouse 프릴/셔링 블라우스 泡泡袖衬衫 [pàopao xiù chènshān]
Outer 겉옷 外套 [wàitào]
jacket 자켓 夹克jiākè
Down jacket 다운재킷/패딩 羽绒服 yǔróngfú
coat 코트 大衣 [dàyī]
Trench Coat 트렌치코트 风衣 fēngyī
cashmere coat 캐시미어코트 羊绒外套 yángróng wàitào
Fur coat 무스탕 翻毛皮fānmáopí
Onepiece 원피스 连衣裙 [liányīqún]
Pants 바지 裤子 [kùzi]
Skirt 치마 裙子 [qúnzi]
Twopieces 투피스 两件套 [liǎngjiàntào]
Sport-wear 운동복 运动服 [yùndòngfú]
Retro fashion 복고풍패션 复古风格的 [fùgǔfēnggéde]
See-through fashion 시스루패션 透视装 [tòushìzhuāng]
High-waist 하이웨스트 高腰风格 [gāoyāofēnggé]
Lapskirt 랩스커트 裹身裙 [guǒshēnqún]
Over fit 오버핏 肥版 [féibǎn]
Suspenders 멜빵 背带 [beidai]
Accessary 악세사리 饰品 [shìpǐn]
Hat 모자 帽子 [màozi]
Socks 양말 袜子 [wàzi]
Gloves 장갑 手套 [shǒutào]
Glasses 안경 眼镜 [yǎnjìng]
Sun-glasses 선글라스 墨镜 [mòjìng]
Muffler 목도리 围巾 [wéijīn]
Hair-Band 머리띠 헤어밴드 发带[fàdài]
Earring 귀걸이 耳环[ěrhuán]
Necklace 목걸이 项链 [xiàngliàn]
Bracelet 팔찌 手镯 [shǒuzhuó]
Watch 손목시계 手表[shǒubiǎo]
Ring 반지 戒指[jièzhi]
Belts 벨트 腰带[yāodài]
Wallet 지갑 钱包[qiánbāo]

The Wonderful World of Shochu

2016 November 18
by Stacy Smith

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

Along with ramen and sushi, sake is a part of Japanese food and drink culture that is ubiquitous here in New York.  But as someone who spent the majority of my time in Japan in Kyushu, I sometimes wonder why shochu doesn’t get its fair share of the acclaim.  Down there shochu is the go-to drink, and since 90% of domestic production takes place at distilleries in Kyushu it is known as Shochu Island.

So I was thrilled when Japan Society asked me to interpret at its first ever event showcasing shochu, Distilled, Not Brewed: Discovering Shochu.  The main speaker was Shinichiro Watanabe, CEO of Kyoya Shuzo and Chairman of the Committee on Shochu Planning at the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association.  His presentation on shochu was for the uninitiated, and highlighted aspects of this distilled liquor such as its history, cultural significance and health benefits.

To breakdown the basics of Watanabe’s presentation, the main way that shochu differs from sake is that it is distilled as opposed to brewed.  Sake is made from rice whereas shochu can be made from ingredients such as sweet potato, barley and rice.  The ingredient is determined by what region of Kyushu the shochu is produced in, and Kumamoto where I lived is rice-based whereas Kagoshima is known for sweet potato-based shochu.  Finally, shochu is usually stronger than sake, with 25-30% alcohol vs. 15-18% alcohol on average.  Shochu’s alcohol percentage is about half that of similarly distilled vodka and whiskey, giving it a clean taste that doesn’t lead to hangovers.  It is not only able to prevent blood clots as red wine is said to do, but can dissolve them should they form.  Shochu also contributes to smooth blood flow, and with no additives it is a sugar-free alcohol.

Following Watanabe’s engaging talk was an interpretative musical performance that featured the ethereal sound of shochu fermentation.  But of course the main event was the tasting portion of the evening, where eight Kyushu distilleries were on hand to share samples of their products.  I was happy to see producers of Kumamoto’s famous Hakutake Shiro, but I have to say my favorite drink was the Ginza Susume Kohaku from Yatsushika Sake Brewery, a well-balanced, high-class barley shochu aged in oak bourbon whiskey barrels for three years.  I am not usually a bourbon fan, but this shochu was so mellow and easy to drink that I could have stayed at that table all night.

Despite being in the center of Shochu Island for three years, there is still so much more for me to learn about this intriguing distilled liquor.  In talking to a JET friend who lived in Shizuoka, I learned that over there it is common to cut shochu with green tea as opposed to hot water, the usual standard for お湯割り (oyuwari).   Here’s hoping that going forward shochu becomes as familiar to New Yorkers as ramen, sushi and sake!

打ち言葉

2016 October 7
by Stacy Smith

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

I was in Japan on business for most of September, and while there I caught up on dramas, variety shows and news programs.  One special feature I saw talked about recent trends in 打ち言葉 (uchi kotoba) or Internet slang that was born from cell phone communication.  For example, perhaps the most well known uchi kotoba is あけおめ (ake ome), taking the place of the more formal 明けましておめでとうございます (Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu) or Happy New Year.  Such language is said to be 内輪 (uchiwa) or inner circle, and knowing how to use it indicates you are part of a group.

Some new incarnations that I found interesting were よきよき (yoki yoki) for いいよ (ii yo), or “Sure/That’s fine.”  It actually reminded me of the Kumamoto-ben よかよか (yoka yoka) with the same meaning, which I would hear often while living there on JET.  One abbreviation I liked was り or りょ (ri or ryo), both short for 了解 (Ryokai) or “Understood/Gotcha.”  Another way of conveying a similar sentiment is おけ (Oke) for “Ok,” though this doesn’t seem to make it easier to write.  These uchi kotoba are constantly evolving, and who knows how far they will go…

Happy Hour at MoMA

2016 August 26
by Stacy Smith

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.happyhour2

Back in March I didn’t have time to blog about my participation in the New Directors New Films festival held at Lincoln Center, but I had the chance to interpret for director Ryusuke Hamaguchi when his epic film Happy Hour was screened there.  With a run time of 317 minutes it is not for the meek, but I can honestly say that it didn’t feel nearly as long as its 5+ hours and that it was a movie I thoroughly enjoyed.  Perhaps because I am the same age as the four female 38-year old main characters, all amateurs who were selected for their parts via an acting workshop that Hamaguchi ran in Kobe.

As you can imagine, the film’s long run time allows it to delve deeply into each of the four women’s lives.  The central thread is that of the character Jun (pictured here on the left), who is the connection between all four women and trying to divorce her husband.  The film also explores how two of the other marriages deal with the demands of domestic life, as well as the lone single woman’s negotiating of her work and love lives.  The film takes some dark turns and could have been cut in some places, but overall it feels like the right length to tell this story.

So if you find yourself with a five-hour chunk of time and nothing to do in the next few days, check out Happy Hour at MOMA!

JAPAN CUTS 2016 comes to a close

2016 July 24
by Stacy Smith

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

This weekend marks the end of the 2016 JAPAN CUTS film festival.  Due to a business trip midway through I wasn’t around as much as I would have liked, but I was able to attend the beginning and end to see some fantastic films.

Last night featured Tatsuya Mori’s FAKE, which looks at the 2014 controversy surrounding self-taught classical composer Mamoru Samuragochi.  At that time, he was exposed by part-time university lecturer Takashi Niigaki as a fake.  Niigaki claimed that Samuragochi could hear despite claims that he was deaf, and that because he didn’t know how to notate music Niigaki had been his ghostwriter during their 18-year tenure working together.  

Within the media circus that emerges, Mori takes a closer look by spending time with Samuragochi, his wife and their photogenic cat at their Yokohama apartment.  Although this serves as the film’s prime location, the viewer does not feel confined but instead drawn in to this he said/he said tale where true and false are not easily delineated.

At the post-screening Q&A, Mori stated his disdain for simple black and white explanations, and offered his view that there can be 100 versions of the truth.  He makes this stance very clear with the final shot of the film (which follows the credits so stick around until the very end when you watch it!), which closes with an open-ended question that is left unanswered.

Tonight I’ll be going to see the very last film of the festival, The Actor.  Hate to see it end but already looking forward to next year!

JAPAN CUTS 2016!

2016 July 17
by Stacy Smith

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.mohican

Last week kicked off the 10th year of the JAPAN CUTS film festival at Japan Society, and if the initial films are any indication this year’s lineup looks as stellar as the nine previous.  The opening film was Mohican Comes Home, and was introduced by director Shuichi Okita and co-star Atsuko Maeda.  They were also both on-hand for a post-screening Q&A, where they revealed behind-the-scenes stories about filming.

Okita’s previous film The Woodsman and the Rain was shown at JAPAN CUTS 2012 (with an appearance by star Koij Yakusho!), and like this film Mohican is set in a rural location.  The plot is of a young man (Ryuhei Matsuda) from a small island in Hiroshima, who hasn’t been back in seven years since living in Tokyo, where he scrapes by as the lead singer for a struggling death metal band.  He decides to return home for a quick visit with his girlfriend (Maeda), who is pregnant and he intends to marry.

The film features a wacky cast of island characters, including his zany family with the always wonderful Masako Motai as the mother.  Akira Emoto plays his father, who we learn has been diagnosed with lung cancer.  Matsuda’s character decides to stay longer than planned to take care of his dad.  His bumbling attempts at connection are both relatable and touching, and the bonds between the family are clear.  Due to shooting on a far-flung location, Okita shared that he had to use locals in many of the parts, and the middle school brass band that the father conducts is especially well cast (with only the clarinet player being a professional actor).  Despite dealing with the heavy themes of life and death, Mohican has plenty of light moments and left the audience in a buoyant mood perfect for the opening night party.

I returned the following night for the film Bitter Honey which also had death as its subject, albeit through a different lens.  It is the story of an aging writer seeking literary glory before succumbing to the death sentence he has been given two years before.  He finds an erotic muse in the form of a shape-shifting goldfish he buys for 300 yen.  She becomes human and gains self-awareness with the help of the writer’s deceased former student and lover, who was summoned at the time of his diagnosis.  Another interesting ghost appearance is that of writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa, the author’s contemporary who has long ago passed away but with whom he is still competing for fame.

Looking forward to the rest of what this year’s commemorative JAPAN CUTS has to offer!

New York Japan Cinefest

2016 June 9
by Stacy Smith

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

Last week I had a chance to check out the 5th annual New York Japan Cinefest, whose mission is to introduce Japanese themed films and discover new talent in filmmaking.  In the past I have attended this festival hosted at Asia Society and always loved it, and this year too did not disappoint.  I made it to the first night of this two night event, which showcased six short films varying in length from 5 to 40 minutes.

I was most looking forward to the final film A Beautiful Person, as it was the newest work from the Kumamoto-born director Isao Yukisada and featured a cast exclusively from Kumamoto (with an appearance from the ubiquitous Kumamon!).  I had to laugh once they started speaking as the dialogue was in heavy Kumamoto-ben (dialect), adding to the film’s authenticity.  The story didn’t captivate me as much as I had hoped it would, but it was like a time capsule as it had been filmed pre-earthquake.  Especially after recently going back to Kumamoto and witnessing the horrible damage the castle has undergone, it was really special to see read more…

是枝監督の新作!

2016 May 26
by Stacy Smith

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

I seem to have a knack for timing my business trips to Japan in sync with releases of my favorite director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s films, and this time is no exception.  Last night I had the chance to check out 海よりもまだ深く (Umi yori mo mada fukaku) or After the Storm), a welcome addition to Kore-eda’s impressive body of work.  It features the familiar cast of characters who can be found throughout the rest of his films, such as Hiroshi Abe and Kirin Kiki paired once again as mother and son, and Lily Franky.

Abe plays Ryota, a character with the same name as the one he played in Kore-eda’s 歩いても歩いても (Aruito mo aruite mo or Still Walking).  This Ryota is a formerly award-winner author who barely makes ends meet by gambling and his job as a private investigator.  He struggles to pay child support to his ex-wife in order to be able to see his son on a monthly basis.  Despite being accustomed to Kore-eda’s leisurely pace, I found the film a bit slow at the beginning.  However, as the story unfolded I started to be drawn more into the stories of the characters.  Perhaps it was because I’m far from home and missing my own family, but I found my eyes filling with tears during some of the tender family moments.  I loved the deceivingly simple but significant shot of the four bowls and four sets of chopsticks, drying after being washed following a family meal.

I was blown away by the extremely nuanced performance of Taiyo Yoshizawa who plays Ryota’s son, and thrilled to see Yukiyoshi Ozawa (the very crush-worthy Katsuragi Sensei from the NHK Sakura morning drama!) in the role of Ryota’s ex-wife’s new boyfriend.  It goes without saying that Kiki was amazing as Ryota’s mother who just lost her husband and lives in low-rent housing while longing for a condo, and Franky has a humorous role as Ryota’s boss at the detective agency.  Ryota is a lost soul at the beginning of the film but at the end we somehow have hope for him, an idea reflected in the beautifully haunting closing song “深呼吸” (shinkokyuu or deep breath) from ハナレグミ (Hanaregumi).  Its lyrics include “saying goodbye to the me of yesterday” and “hello again to the me of tomorrow.” Abe is masterful at subtly conveying this change, with the film’s last scene showing him walking upright as opposed to the slouched shoulders and defeated gait he had for the majority of the film.

Chinese Phrases for Department Store Shopping – In Beijing!

2016 May 24
by Wenjuan Zhao

Today we follow Peter on a shopping adventure in a department store in Beijing. Peter is studying in a Masters program for Chinese at Beijing Foreign Studies University. He arrived at Beijing last November with only winter clothes. Now it is May, and he needs to get new clothes for the summer. His Chinese friends recommended Xidan Department Store, 西单商场 (xī dān shāng chǎng), which is nationally well known with more than 70 years of history and an excellent reputation.

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Peter likes high quality products and trustworthy places  wherehe can return products easily. So he decided to take his Chinese friend’s advice and go shopping at Xidan. Below are language tips for how to go shopping in Chinese, and these tips should work in any Chinese speaking country. The scenario is simplified to make it easy to follow. In the flashcards below, I  add a variety of vocabulary which you can use to conduct more sophisticated conversation.

At the entrance, Peter approaches the shopping guide.
你好。请问男装在几楼?nǐ hǎo 。qǐng wèn nán zhuāng zài jǐ lóu ? Hello. Excuse me. Could you tell me which floor sells menswear?
三楼。sān lóu 。 The third floor.
谢谢。xiè xiè 。 Thank you.
不用谢。bú yòng xiè 。 You are welcome.

 

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He arrives at the third floor by taking the escalator. There are quite a variety of brands and so many products. A salesclerk gives him a little guidance. 
请问先生您要买什么?qǐng wèn xiān shēng nín yào mǎi shí me ? What would you like to buy, Sir?
我想买衬衫。wǒ xiǎng mǎi chèn shān 。 I want to buy some shirts.
好的。您从这边走,到头右转。那里是衬衫区。hǎo de 。nín cóng zhè biān zǒu ,dào tóu yòu zhuǎn 。nà lǐ shì chèn shān qū 。 Okay. You can go (straight) from here and make a right turn at the end. That is the shirt section.
谢谢。xiè xiè 。 Thank you.
不用谢。bú yòng xiè 。 You are welcome.

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Following the instruction of the shop assistant, Peter finds the section of shirts.
下午好,先生。欢迎光临。要买衬衫吗?xià wǔ hǎo ,xiān shēng 。huān yíng guāng lín 。yào mǎi chèn shān ma ? Good afternoon, Sir. Welcome. Would you like to buy some shirts?
是的。(不,谢谢。我只是看看。)shì de 。(bú ,xiè xiè 。wǒ zhī shì kàn kàn 。) Yes. (If he is not sure yet, he can say No. Thanks. I am just looking around. )
您喜欢哪件?nín xǐ huān nǎ jiàn ? Which one do you like?
这件蓝色的。这是多大的?zhè jiàn lán sè de 。zhè shì duō dà de ? This blue one. What size is it?
39号的。喜欢的话,您可以试穿一下。39hào de。xǐ huān de huà ,nín kě yǐ shì chuān yī xià 。 39. If you like it, you can try it on.
好的。我试一下。请问试衣间在哪里?hǎo de 。wǒ shì yī xià 。qǐng wèn shì yī jiān zài nǎ lǐ ? Okay. I’d like to try it on. Where is the fitting room?
请跟我来。qǐng gēn wǒ lái 。 Please follow me.
谢谢。xiè xiè 。 Thanks.
After trying it on, he realizes it is too small for him. He gained some weight in the last few months because he likes Chinese food so much! 
售货员,请问有没有大一点的?这件有点紧。shòu huò yuán ,qǐng wèn yǒu méi yǒu dà yī diǎn de ?zhè jiàn yǒu diǎn jǐn 。 Miss, do you have a larger size? This one is a little tight.
这件是40号的。您再试一下。zhè jiàn shì 40hào de 。nín zài shì yī  xià 。 This one is size 40. You can try it on (again).
好的。hǎo de 。 Okay.
He tries on the larger one. It fits him nicely.  
谢谢。我要这件了。xiè xiè 。wǒ yào zhè jiàn le 。 Thanks. I want this one.
好的。我帮您包一下。hǎo de 。wǒ bāng nín bāo yī xià 。 Okay. I will wrap it for you.
我可以刷卡吗?wǒ kě yǐ shuā kǎ ma ? Can I pay by credit card?
我们只收Visa卡。wǒ men zhǐ shōu Visa kǎ 。 We only accept Visa card.
我的是Visa. 给你。wǒ de shì Visa. gěi nǐ 。 Mine is Visa. Here you are.
一共是120块。原价240元。打五折。这是您的收据,请收好。yī gòng shì 120kuài 。yuán jià 240yuán 。dǎ wǔ shé 。zhè shì nín de shōu jù ,qǐng shōu hǎo 。 The total is 120 bucks. Here is your receipt. Please keep the receipt carefully.
谢谢。要是有什么问题,我可以退吗?xiè xiè 。yào shì yǒu shí me wèn tí ,wǒ kě yǐ tuì ma ? Thanks. If there is any problem, can I return it?
可以。一个月以内凭发票都可以退。kě yǐ 。yī gè yuè yǐ nèi píng fā piào dōu kě yǐ tuì 。 Yes. You can return it with a receipt within one month.
太好了。谢谢。啊……tài hǎo le 。xiè xiè 。ā …… Great! Thank you. Uh……
请问还有什么我可以帮助的吗?qǐng wèn hái yǒu shí me wǒ kě yǐ bāng zhù de ma ? Is there anything else I can help you with?
我可以用一下厕所吗?wǒ kě yǐ yòng yī xià cè suǒ ma ? Can I use the bathroom?
没问题。我指给您。您沿着指示牌的箭头走,走廊尽头左拐就到了。méi wèn tí 。wǒ zhǐ gěi nín 。nín yán zhe zhǐ shì pái de jiàn tóu zǒu ,zǒu láng jìn tóu zuǒ guǎi jiù dào le 。 No problem. I can show you. Please follow the arrow on the direction board. At the end of the corridor, turn left. is The bathroom should be right there.
非常感谢。fēi cháng gǎn xiè 。 Thank you very much.
不用谢。欢迎您再来。bú yòng xiè 。huān yíng nín zài lái 。 You are welcome. Hope you come back soon!

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Flashcards and Pronunciation of the Dialog:


If you can learn and practice these sentence structures and vocabulary, in no time you will be shopping like a local. With the tightening of intellectual property right laws in China, there are less and less counterfeit products you can find. If you buy from regulated stores, you are guaranteed to have high quality goods and a no hassle return. I hope you enjoy your shopping experience in China and next time we eat out! 下次再见!

Kumamoto earthquakes

2016 April 22
by Stacy Smith

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

Over a week has passed since the earthquakes down in Kyushu, and things have settled down somewhat but it is still a very scary situation. I spent my time on JET in Kumamoto, so this unexpected disaster was especially hard-hitting. I have a business trip to Tokyo next month, so I’m planning to go down to Kyushu during that time to help out with recovery efforts. It’s hard to be so far away and not be able to do much, but at this point due to the instability the best way to help seems to be donations.

In that vein, here are links to two organizations that are currently accepting contributions. The first is a fund created by the Japanese American Association of NY (JAA, hosting its Sakura Matsuri from 11 am-1 pm at Flushing Meadows Park tomorrow!) devoted exclusively to Kyushu Earthquake Relief (www.jaany.org), and the second is Japan Society’s general Earthquake Relief Fund (www.japansociety.org/page/earthquake).

Finally, here’s the song Kumamoto produced by NY-based jazz pianist Senri Oe and featuring Mamiko Taira on vocals. He wrote this haunting tune right after the disaster as a way to deal with his feelings of helplessness. He describes this music as his own way of providing relief goods, as unlike other supplies a song won’t spoil nor can there be too much or too little of it. It might be just what some people are looking for, and can be accessed by anyone via the Internet. In the spirit of the potential solace it offers, enjoy.