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Off topic: Which tastes better: courgette or zucchini?
Thread poster: Roni_S

Roni_S  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 22:11
Slovak to English
Nov 23, 2016

All patriotism aside, do more Brits understand what a zucchini is than North Americans understand what a courgette is, or vice versa? And what about those who speak English as a second or third language? Which designation is more common? Obviously the same applies to the aubergine/eggplant question. Discuss.

Roni


 

The Misha
Local time: 16:11
Russian to English
+ ...
Zucchinis taste great - fried, grilled or in stews. What the heck is a courgette? Nov 23, 2016

I did hear of aubergines though. I didn't like them. It's fried eggplant all around.

 

Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 22:11
Member (2005)
English to German
Where does English come in? Nov 23, 2016

I will eat courgettes in France and zucchini in Germany and Italy. I will also eat aubergines in Germany and France, and who the heck plants eggs, apart from sea turtles?

Melanzane, anyone?


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:11
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Ridiculous Nov 24, 2016

englishpartner wrote:

All patriotism aside, do more Brits understand what a zucchini is than North Americans understand what a courgette is, or vice versa? And what about those who speak English as a second or third language? Which designation is more common? Obviously the same applies to the aubergine/eggplant question. Discuss.

Roni


"Zucchini" is a plural. You can't have "a zucchini" (although some people think you can not only have a "zucchini" but you can have it in a "panini".

In BE it's French: courgettes.


 

Maria Teresa Pozzi  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:11
Member (2006)
German to Italian
+ ...
In Italy Nov 24, 2016

you normally eat "zucchine" not "zucchini"

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Marrow-minded Nov 24, 2016

I suspect most Brits probably don't know what courgettes and aubergines are.

But those who do probably also know what zucchini and eggplants are.

American words and usages are pretty much ubiquitous now. Especially when it comes to coffee and "on" as a universal preposition.


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:11
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
On Nov 24, 2016

"Especially when it comes to coffee and "on" as a universal preposition."

Doh?

Hi Chris, I'd be interested to know what the universal "on" consists of. Genuine query, no sarkiness intended. Can't get my head around it. Or my head on it? ... No, can't be that simple.


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:11
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
To stay on topic ... Nov 24, 2016

... it's obviously aubergine. Eggplant is so weird. The others are courgettes. As for zucchini, I had and have no idea. Now, melanzane I've had over there, and I'm pretty sure that was aubergine.

 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:11
German to English
You have to make a choice. Nov 24, 2016

We can play nice and get along on a lot of things ("floor" instead of "story"/"storey" or "exit" instead of "way out"), but you have to make a choice and explicitly state to your client what variant you are going to use. There are just too many situations where there are no universally acceptable solutions. Usually there is no difference at all, but every text will eventually force you to accept that there is no international English.

I'd never heard of courgettes or marrows and onl
... See more
We can play nice and get along on a lot of things ("floor" instead of "story"/"storey" or "exit" instead of "way out"), but you have to make a choice and explicitly state to your client what variant you are going to use. There are just too many situations where there are no universally acceptable solutions. Usually there is no difference at all, but every text will eventually force you to accept that there is no international English.

I'd never heard of courgettes or marrows and only recognized aubergine because of German.

And the fact that I actually ought to be eating a zucchino instead of a zucchini never occurred to me. Then again, it has also never bothered me that many of my childhood friends went to different kindergartens.

"Pushchair" or "way out" always struck me as bizarrely inept translations until I took the time to actually look them up. On the other hand, I know "aluminum" is stupid, but I'm still stuck with it.

Whatever variant you decide on, there is always a good chance that a significant number of readers is likely to think you're a complete idiot a significant amount of the time.
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Roni_S  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 22:11
Slovak to English
TOPIC STARTER
Ok Nov 24, 2016

Maybe I should have been a bit more clear in stating that I was not really asking about how these words are used in their language of origin but how they are *commonly* used in English, particularly in places where English is not an official language. Since learners of English throughout the world learn different variations of the language I was looking for opinions as to which usage people believe is the more common. In any given restaurant in any given country where English is not an official ... See more
Maybe I should have been a bit more clear in stating that I was not really asking about how these words are used in their language of origin but how they are *commonly* used in English, particularly in places where English is not an official language. Since learners of English throughout the world learn different variations of the language I was looking for opinions as to which usage people believe is the more common. In any given restaurant in any given country where English is not an official language, what would you be more likely to see on an English version of their menu? I suppose it varies, but I've personally seen menus where they mixed and matched both BE and AE, which was oddly off-putting.

As for eggplant, here http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:W7CIeBHii6wJ:www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-egg1.htm%20&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

they say this:

"The name of eggplant was given it by Europeans in the middle of the eighteenth century because the variety they knew had fruits that were the shape and size of goose eggs."

Either way they're delicious

Roni
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The Misha
Local time: 16:11
Russian to English
+ ...
Obvious to whom? Nov 24, 2016

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

... it's obviously aubergine. Eggplant is so weird.


I'll bet you a dollar there are more of us egg planters out there and we plant more of them eggs. If you don't believe me, consider this: in my native Russian, there are two words for this too: baklazhan (standard Russian, meh) that apparently derives from aubergine somehow, and a regional name from the south, where I come from, which literally translates as "blue" or rather "the blue one (of a female persuasion" ("sinyaya"). Together (well, duh, where do you think the Blue Man Group got the idea? They just bungled the color scheme:)), the mighty egg planters and beautiful blue ones will leave you meek auberginers in the dust ten times out of ten. There!

Nothing like a little conspiracy theorizing on a holiday morning, eh? Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Have some eggplant with your turkey!


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:11
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
But it's still weird Nov 24, 2016

But it's still weird. I'll bet you a dollar it's weird.

But enough of these foodstuff discrepancies. Have fun with the Thanksgiving! Make sure to thank everyone.


 

Inga Petkelyte  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:11
Lithuanian to Portuguese
+ ...
Both Nov 24, 2016

I eat both.
In my homeland, I used to eat "cukinija".
In Portugal, I eat courgete.
Which is more used, you can easily check on Google hits.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:11
Member (2008)
Italian to English
In Spain? Nov 24, 2016

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

But it's still weird. I'll bet you a dollar it's weird.

But enough of these foodstuff discrepancies. Have fun with the Thanksgiving! Make sure to thank everyone.


You do Thanksgiving in SPAIN?


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:11
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Tom - no, no Thanksgiving Nov 24, 2016

Or in the Basque Country either. All I meant was a general "Have fun!" to people busy thanking in other climes.

 
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