Unsure about some "food and drink" words...

July 22, 2009, 07:21 PM posted in General Discussion

Hey guys :) I'm still a Newbie here so bare with me :) I was just browsing through my book and thought I should add a list of Food and Drink to it. The thing is, this is all very new to me still, and I've found some quite contradicting words and meanings on the internet and in the dictionary. Here are some of the words I was unsure about. It'd be great if some of you guys could let me know the pinyin for them. Thanks :)

Here they are: 

  • Ice Cream - I thought that was bīng qí lín...?
  • Honey - fēngmì...?
  • Potato (not sweet potato because I think that's a different word) - ?
  • Raspberry - ?
  • Cake (as in birthday kind of cake but wasn't sure if the word for birthday cake is different to normal cake if you get what I mean) - ?
  • Green beans (as in the vegetable) - ?
  • Milk (as in the milk you put in your tea) - ?
  • Lemonade -?
Sorry about the long list! :/ 

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July 22, 2009, 08:47 PM

if these are wrong, someone will correct my mistakes

this is what I found in my dictionary.

Potato - tou3 dou4

Raspberry- shan1 mei2

Birthday cake- sheng1 ri4 dan4 gao1

Milk- (cow's milk)  nai3 niu2

sorry not sure about green beans

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July 27, 2009, 08:55 AM


no worries. yeah it's the tannins found in the skin of red grape varieties that makes the colour.yes skins and seeds all go in the mix, and perhaps the odd leaf. but in the end the straining process eliminates any unwanted solid bits.

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July 23, 2009, 06:16 AM

My dictionary has 青豆 as lima bean, which is much bigger than a green bean and eaten differently... green beans you eat with the pod, limas you don't. Do they have the same name in Chinese? Some varieties of green beans are also called string beans or snap beans to add to the confusion. When I was in Guyana I was surprised that pumpkins were not what I call a pumpkin, so I think names of things can be quite inconsistant... By the way, I like Guyanese pumkins better! There is an East Indian flare to the cooking there, so I had it in curry! Very good!

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July 23, 2009, 08:09 AM

@orangina, sorry! I'm not sure what this green bean is. I thought it's 青豆!Anyway,I'm a little bit confused. And, are the pumpkins sweet like honey?

@plzholdtheline2, there are too many kinds of beans in Chinese, could you pls put up a picture? Oh, 豆角,青豆,毛豆.....:(

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July 23, 2009, 08:34 AM

Green beans : 四季豆、 玉豆、带荚豌豆、菜豆、刀豆、豆角、敏豆仔

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July 23, 2009, 09:24 AM

Thanks guys for your help ^.^ Yeah, I mean the beans like in the picture kimiik posted.

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July 23, 2009, 04:36 PM

And could someone please tell me what plum would be? Is it 李子 lǐ zǐ?

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July 24, 2009, 01:40 AM

Hey, exactly. It's 李子,lǐzi.

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July 25, 2009, 10:45 AM

I've got some more words I'm unsure about if that's ok with you guys :)

  • Red wine - would it just be "hóng" and then "jiǔ" or is that just a bad transliteration? haha
  • White wine - ? does it follow the same pattern as red wine?
  • Beer - I thought that was "pí jiǔ"? 
  • Hot Chocolate - ?
  • Water (as in drinking water not river because I think there's lots of different ones...?- ?
  • Milkshake - nǎixí?
  • Orange Juice - would that just be like "orange" and then "juice" or is that too much of a transliteration again?  
And what about some of the Branded name of drinks?
  • Fanta - is that "fēndá"?
  • Sprite - ?
  • Coca-cola/Coke - is is "kěkǒu kělè"?
  • 7 Up - ?

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July 26, 2009, 10:06 AM

Could someone help me pretty please? :) I've looked in my dictionary but it seems to give different words to some of the websites I've looked them up on.

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July 23, 2009, 02:23 AM

Hey, lovelygreentea, nice try! Here is the list: ah, nai3 niu2 is not milk, but cow!:)

  • Ice Cream- 冰淇淋,bīngqílín
  • Honey- 蜂蜜,fēngmì
  • Potato- 土豆,tǔdòu
  • Raspberr- 山莓,shān méi
  • Cake- 蛋糕,dàngāo, birthday cake, 生日蛋糕shēngri dàngāo
  • Green beans- 青豆,qīngdòu
  • Milk- 牛奶,niúnǎi
  • Lemonade-柠檬汽水,níngméng qìshuǐ

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July 27, 2009, 02:50 AM

hi shenyajin

white wine i don't think you can translate as 白酒. rather it is simply 葡萄酒. i understand that chinese 葡萄酒 is in fact 红酒, reason being of course that the chinese, according to my knowledge, never much used green grapes to make 葡萄酒。

if i ask for baijiu in china i will be served of course with baijiu, chinese spirits(中国产的烈酒)。

酒 in english is alcohol, not wine. wine is a sub-category of alcoholic beverages, which includes beer wine spirits and liquers.

one other point, western wine has no added sugar, unlike 中国传统的红酒. as such an more accurate translation for red wine in chinese is 干红酒。

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July 27, 2009, 07:41 AM

@miantiao, thanks! It's a typo. Correction: it should be 白葡萄酒 bái pútao jiǔ, sorry everybody! :)

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July 27, 2009, 07:45 AM

no problem, and thanks to you too because i never knew how to say white wine.

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July 27, 2009, 08:02 AM


I am not sure how American pumpkins taste by themselves because they are usually served spiced and sweetened as a desert... yummm... pumpkin pie... They are orange on inside and outside.  Guyanese pumpkins are orange on the inside, but green on the outside and are a little sweet, but more of a savory food, like other squash. I don't think I would say either is sweet like honey! A friend once told me that what most (Americans)think of as pumpkins are actually a hybrid with another kind of squash, so that may explain the difference.

I hope to go to China soon, and am pleased to hear there are so many beans!

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July 27, 2009, 08:09 AM


green grapes make white wine, red grapes make red wine. i used to work in a vineyaerd as a kid for a short time during harvesting. nobody makes wine with stems and leaves and seeds.

chardonnay is the name of a green variety of grape grown in that region of france, hence the name.

you'll find that most wine varieties such as merlot, champaigne etc are place names as well as grape names.




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July 27, 2009, 08:16 AM

@ orangina

deleting your comment makes mine look rather innocuous don't you think?

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July 27, 2009, 08:37 AM

Thanks so much for the help guys ^.^ Don't know what I'd do without you! ^.^ 谢谢!

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July 27, 2009, 08:44 AM


I decided to check my facts! sorry you saw my post before I got it down... I did find some websites that said red wine is made with the seeds and skins and a bit of stem... not the vine, of course. And while white wine is usually made from green grapes it can also be made from skinless black grapes because the juice is clear. Your experience certainly trumps mine, so I take you word!

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July 27, 2009, 02:36 AM


@plzholdtheline2, hey, here fyi:

Red wine - 红酒 hóng jiǔ
White wine - 白酒(thanks to miantiao, it's 白葡萄酒,báipútaojiǔ) báijiǔ
Beer - 啤酒 píjiǔ
Hot Chocolate - 热巧克力 rè qiǎokèlì
Water- 水 shuǐ,mineral water- 矿泉水 kuàngquán shuǐ
Milkshake - 奶昔 nǎi xī
Orange Juice - 橙汁 chéng zhī 

Fanta - 芬达 fēndá
Sprite - 雪碧 xuě bì
Coca-cola/Coke - 可口可乐,kěkǒu kělè

7 Up -七喜,qīxǐ