Gengo Girls #105: Contents May Be Hot

Gengo Girls #105: Contents May Be Hot

The Japanese drink a ton of tea and offering it to guests is an important part of their cultural manners. This can pose an interesting challenge for westerner visitors who either really don’t like tea or have dietary or religious restrictions against it. You don’t want to offend people by refusing their hospitality… but at the same time you also really don’t want the tea. Tread carefully if you find yourself in this situation.

Anyways, on a grammar note I hope you all noticed we used the te-imasu form of “nomu” to create the natural sounding question “What are you drinking?”. And as you can see “ocha” is yet another word that has an honorific “o” attached directly to it 99% of the time.


お茶 = おちゃ = tea, usually green

麦茶 = むぎちゃ = wheat or barley tea


言語ガールズ #105

Contents May Be Hot

Blue: 何を飲んでいますか

Yellow: お茶です

Blue: Speaking of お茶, the most common type of tea in 日本 is green tea.

Blue: So if you just ask for お茶 that’s what you’ll probably get.

Blue: To talk about other types of tea you usually add a prefix to .

Blue: Like using the kanji for wheat to create 麦茶.

Blue: So, what’s your favorite flavor of お茶?

Yellow: They all taste like burnt tongue to me.

Blue: That’s what happens when you’re too impatient to let it cool…