Wade Cartwright
April 22, 2011, 05:01 AM posted in General Discussion

My Chinese tutor and I have had ZERO luck finding the Chinese term for arugula, also known as rocket plant or more formally as Eruca sativa.  I know this is very abstruse, but can anyone help?  Would be much appreciated.  Thanks!

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April 22, 2011, 06:04 AM

Ha, my wife loves arugula.  In Chinese it's 芝麻菜.

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April 22, 2011, 11:58 AM芝麻菜

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April 22, 2011, 12:15 PM

This is a good tip - if you can't find something in the dictionaries, try reverse searching wikipedia. What I mean is, look it up in English, and then switch to the Chinese translation using the sidebar.

I did this to show my Chinese friends what rhubarb was. It's from China so I knew they had to know what it was! Turns out it's called 大黄. I think that's a funny name - it's not even yellow - it's red.

I've also used to find some really odd words (like 黄麻) I needed translations for and couldn't find anywhere - I think it correlates Chinese journal titles with their English translations.

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Some rhubarb is yellow. The store I used to work at sold rainbow rhubarb, which had stalks ranging from yellow to almost purple in the same bunch. We sold carrots of various colors as well. At first I was a little upset about people always having to breed for something new and exciting... then I learned that the traditional orange color is the result of selective breeding, not all the other colors. Variety is the status quo in nature, people like to standardize.

What I want to know is what arugula has to do with sesame... since that is what comes up in my dictionary for 芝麻sans菜.

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"Variety is the status quo in nature, people like to standardize. " That is very true. Let me see if I can find a picture...nope. One of my profs for a class is a potato breeder. He had a fantastic rainbow picture of potato varieties. I can't find it. This will have to do.