Getsuyobi no Menyu no Ishi

Getsuyobi no Menyu no Ishi is my best attempt to translate Menu Plan Monday into Japanese.
Bonnie asked me to reproduce what I originally posted on my blog. It isn't a recipe, but it's a translation of a menu. Before we get to the menu, however, a few words about the Japanese writing above. Getsuyobi translates Monday literally, meaning Moon Day. The first character, Getsu, is the Kanji (Chinese character used to write Japanese) for the Moon. The third character is the Kanji for the Sun, which in this case means day. They are both pictograms, originating from pictures of the objects they represent.
The second Kanji (Yo) is a wonderful illustration of how pictograms can combine to form a new character, in this case an ideogram. There are three parts to this character, the sun, wings, and a bird. The idea is that the sun flies by on bird's wings as the days of the week fly by!
The fourth symbol above is the Hiragana pronounced "no." In this case it signifies that Getsuyobi modifies the noun following the "no." Hiragana is a 46-character syllabary used to write Japanese words and to add grammar to the Kanji.
The next four symbols are characters in another syllabary, called Katakana, used to write foreign words. They simply transliterate the English word "menu" into Japanese. Then comes the Hiragana possession indicator "no" once again.
Finally, the last two Kanji are very interesting. Taken together and pronounced Ishi, they signify will, intention, aim, or plan. The first part of the word is a Kanji meaning will, heart, mind, thought. The bottom of the Kanji means heart, the top half means sound. So a thought is the sound of the heart. The second part of the word is a Kanji meaning will, intention, or aim. It is formed with a man or scholar on the top and the radical for heart on the bottom. Put the two together and it means will, intention, aim, plan. Thus Getsuyobi no Menyu no Ishi—Menu Plan Monday.

Our niece, Pam, and her friend, Becky, recently went on vacation in Hawaii. Knowing how I love Japanese, they sent me this picture of a Subway menu in Japanese. Becky pointed out that BLT is in English. What is fascinating is that about 80% of this menu is in English adapted into the Japanese language phonetically. It's something we might call Nihonglish (Nihongo is Japanese for the Japanese language). By learning a 46-character syllabary called Katakana, you could read 80% or more of this menu.

There are only a few actual Kanji (Chinese characters used to write Japanese) on the menu, and since they mostly use the On-yomi (that is the Chinese reading of the Kanji), they represent Chinese sounds/ideas adopted into Japanese.

In fact, the only real native Japanese on this menu, in one sense, are the few Hiragana (another 46-character syllabary, used to write native Japanese words and to add grammatical endings to the Kanji) along with a couple of Kanji using the Kun-yomi (Japanese reading of the character)!

Top Line says "Sabuay"-wa furesshu de Shinsen dakara itsumo oishii!" Subway fresh. Because it's fresh, it's always delicious). The two Kanji are read Shinsen, a second way to write the meaning "fresh."

Second line: "Okisa-wa 6 inchi to 12 inchi, rappu mo arimasu."—Sizes we have: 6-inch and 12-inch, and also wraps.

Third line: "Yasai-wa oSukinamono o oErabi Kudasai." Literally (Regarding) vegetables (polite prefix) favorites or choices (polite prefix) choose please (humble word)—Choose the vegetables you would like. The prefix "o" added to the beginning of Sukinamono and Erabi is an example of word beautification and makes the language more polite. The word Kudasai is a form of please that shows humility on the part of the speaker (writer). When written as a Kanji, it points downward, as follows:

* Beji Deraito (Yasai to cheezu)"—Vegi Delight (Vegetables and Cheese)

* Tahkee Buresto (Shichimencho Muneniku)—Turkey Breast (Turkey Breast, but the word Shichimencho is interesting. It is the designation for a Turkey, but literally it means something like "Seven-Faced Bird," perhaps in reference to the various colors reflected by the turkey’s wattle.)

See more discussion of the word turkey in various languages on my blog here.
* Roesto Bifu —Roast Beef

* Sheefudo to Kurabu (Sheefudo to Kanikama) — Seafood and Fake Crab

* BLT (Baykon, Retasu, tomahto)—BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato)

* Hamu—Ham

* Roesto Chiken Buresto—Roast Chicken Breast

* Sabuay Kurabu (Tahkee, Roesto Beefu, Hamu)—Subway Club (Turkey, Roast Beef, Ham) (Notice crab and club are both transliterated the same into Katakana.)

* Itarian BMT (Peparoni, Sarami, Hamu)—Italian BMT (Pepperoni, Salami, Ham)

The BMT was supposedly originally named after the "Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit," but now is called Biggest, Meatiest, Tastiest.

* Tsuna (Tuna—this is the closest we can get in transliterating Tuna into Katakana).

* Teriyaki chiken—Teriyaki chicken

* Korudo Kahto Conbi (Hamu, Buroeni, Sarami)—Cold Cut Combi(nation) (Ham, Balogna, Salami)
* Chiken, Baykon Ranchi (Chiken, Baykon, Yasai)—Chicken Bacon Ranch (Chicken, Bacon, Ranch) (Note here that the word Lunch would also be transliterated Ranchi.)

* Steiki to Chizu—Steak and Cheese

* Pasutorami—Pastrami

* Beji Maxu (Yasai Hahmbahgah)—Vejimax (Vegetable Hamburger)

* Kizzu Paku (Kora Paku)—(Hamu, Tsuna, Softo Durinku, Tahkee something and it fades out-can't make out the characters, Durinku, and more unreadables)--Kid's Pack (Children's Pack) (Ham, Tuna, Soft Drink, Turkey, ........, Drink,....

* Onomimono: Softo Durinku (Okii, Chui, Chiisai) Kara oErabi Kudasai, Gyunyu, Uroncha, Kocha mo Arimasu—Beverages: Soft Drinks (Large, Medium, Small) Choose, We also have Milk, Oolong Tea, and Black Tea.

* Supu: Kuramuchyaudah, Burokkari Chizu, Chiken Nudoru, Bifu Vejitaburu—Soup: Clam Chowder, Broccoli-Cheese, Chicken Noodle, Beef Vegetable

The Black Circle in the upper righthand corner says that you can add Bacon for 50 cents to the 6-inch or a dollar to the 12-inch sandwich.


Kath said...

My favorite part of this post is learning that to the Japanese a plan is a man listening to the sound of his heart. "Create in me a clean heart...." and help my intentions to be from the sound thereof.....great post!

Bonnie said...

I'll have a foot long Tahkee Buresto with one serve of black circle in the corner ...crispy please !!

I love this Dad !! Thank you so much for posting it and I'm going to use your Menu Plan Monday translation in my Menu Plan Monday posts from now on ... just need to make it into a button !! :)

Mom ... I love that too ~ listening to the sound of his heart !