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Poll: What language do you write your shopping list in?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 06:15
Mar 15, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What language do you write your shopping list in?".

This poll was originally submitted by DianeGM. View the poll results »


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:15
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A mixture Mar 15, 2015

Which ever word in whatever language comes to mind first will end up on my shopping list.icon_biggrin.gif


Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:15
Member (2006)
German to English
Other Mar 15, 2015

IN GB, English and in DE/AT/CH, German. All depends on who else is going to read it


Teresa Borges
Local time: 14:15
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Mar 15, 2015

It depends! For family reasons, I have been dividing my time each month between Brussels and Lisbon almost 50/50 for the last 10 years. So, when I’m in Brussels, my shopping list tends to be written mostly in French, maybe with one or two words in Portuguese, if I can’t remember the name in French on the spot. The opposite happens when I’m in Portugal: my daughter Marta does my shopping, so my shopping list tends to be written mostly in Portuguese, maybe with one or two words in French (for the reason stated above), much to her annoyance as she prefers English to French…


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:15
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
A mix Mar 15, 2015

Because a lot of things are alien and don't exist in the English language or are descriptions that are just too long to jot down. Try out these,

buckwheat noodles vs 'soba'
burdock root vs 'gobo'
soy bean curd vs 'tofu'
soy milk whey vs 'yuba'
dark edible seaweed strips vs 'hijiki'
devil's tongue starch vs 'konnyaku'
Kyoto-style chopped vegetables pickled in salt with red shiso leaves vs 'shibazuke'
Cladosiphon okamuranus and Sphaerotrichia divaricata, types of edible seaweed seasoned with vinegar vs 'mozuku'

The list is endless and they all taste 'umai.' icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

Small gastronomic edit.

[Edited at 2015-03-16 03:09 GMT]


Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:15
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
other Mar 15, 2015

I can't remember the last time I wrote a shopping list.


Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:15
Dutch to English
+ ...
usually my main target language Mar 15, 2015

in English. It's shorter.

Unless we don't know the word in English or context has taught it to us in German (like Anzuender for the stove).


Luiz Barucke
Local time: 10:15
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
Spanish Mar 15, 2015

The language of the country I live in. It's one of my source languages, but that's not the reason.


Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:45
English to Hindi
+ ...
Script and language both vary Mar 15, 2015

Some items that populate my shopping list are so culturally specific that they can be written only in the language specific to that culture. So more often than not, my shopping list ends up as a curious document composed in several scripts and languages.

A hilarious thing about our shopping lists is that, the entire family enthusiastically participates in its preparation with each member contributing to it, and soon, after several hours of heated discussion on what to include and what to exclude, a fairly long list is put together, often on a scrap of paper torn off a used envelope or on an unprinted edge of a newspaper. It is then safely kept away in some corner of the house.

When we finally end up in a mall or market-place to execute the list, we usually discover that we have forgotten to take the elaborately prepared list and have left it behind in the home in its place of safe-keeping! Then begins a blame game as to who is actually responsible for this fiasco!

A heated rerun of the whole exercise of preparing the list hastily follows in the midst of the tumult and commotion of the mall/market-place. To our credit, we manage a pretty good reconstruction, with only a few items of the original list being missed out.

[Edited at 2015-03-15 15:18 GMT]


Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
A mix of both Mar 15, 2015

Sometimes the text isn't recognizable in either English or Spanish, but some weird combination of the two.

My personal favorite is "Popis paper" (Toilet paper).


Eleonora Chyc  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:15
Member (2013)
Russian to Ukrainian
+ ...
Other Mar 15, 2015

Depends on the situation :
a) if it's in the UK where I live so I write it either in English to save time ( I can't imagine myself translating 'Tikka Masala' into Polish or Russian,though now I might do this in the future, for training my brain)
or in Polish/Russian mostly for my daughter to remember her native tongue or learn mine(Russian)
b) if it's elsewhere outside the UK, I usually write it in Polish if I am with my daughter or in Russian if we are in Ukraine ( as you may know people speak Ukrainian and Russian because of political reasons, though I'm not sure about young generation )
c) sometimes it happens that I end up writing my shopping list in two or three languages which makes a funny effect


brg (X)
Source language Mar 15, 2015

Always. Quite natural for me, I speak it the whole day to hubby, children, neighbours, etc. I chan change without any problem for other family members, vocabulary is present in both languages. But I am not always able to translate from the one into another, this uses a different approach in my brain.
I dream in my source language too.
Note: I live in the source language country for almost 25 years


Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Several Mar 15, 2015

If I actually remember to write a list, and that list makes it with me on the shopping trip, I rather doubt if anyone but myself would understand it.

On reflection, the items that I used to buy when I lived in the UK probably go down in English, and the new food items in Spanish. Thus milk would probably be thus, in English, whereas sepia - which I wasn't given to buying in the UK - appears in Spanish.

Quite true though that certain things wouldn't ever get translated. Sobaos and madalenas would never get written in English because they'd be too complicated to express - don't try telling me that they have anything to do with cupcakes!

Ah, and there's a section which is a kind of inheritance from my mother, with items such as TRs - her shorthand for toilet rolls, despite the fact that I would always say loo paper.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:15
Member (2007)
+ ...
Depends where we started using the item, or... Mar 15, 2015

It depends on many things for us. I don't speak Spanish very well and anyway things such as mint, peas or carrots have much longer names locally, so English is the obvious choice. OTOH, calabacin is always the word that comes to mind faster than courgette. Of course, a Spanish omelette here has to be a tortilla - nothing remotely like an omelette! And cabra is the Fuerteventuran ace card, both as award-winning cheese and meat: fried and roast kid and stewed goat - lovely!

Then there are those special things that deserve their French name. How can you use any other language for lardons, gésiers (gizzards???icon_eek.gif), magret etc.?

I think Dutch has sadly left our shopping list, though not our table (hutspot en klapstuk, erwtensoep...). But I'm attending the conference in Rotterdam in June and there will certainly be a few cartons of vla in our suitcase on the way home, with some Indonesian bakpaos.

Interesting poll. Nice to see over 50% voting for a mixture of languages.


Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:15
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
it depends Mar 15, 2015

When I am home, of course, in Hungarian (sometimes in English mixed with Hungarian, btw, we have no other words for pendrive, stickers and some office supplies).
In Kazakstan/Latvia I wrote in Russian.
When I am home and I want something to keep in secret, I write in Russian but one of my children started to learn Russian so I have to find an another way to codingicon_smile.gif

[Módosítva: 2015-03-15 21:47 GMT]

[Módosítva: 2015-03-15 21:48 GMT]

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Poll: What language do you write your shopping list in?

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