Delicious Words: East Asian Food Words in English, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Delicious Words

East Asian Food Words in English, 1st Edition

By Jieun Kiaer


136 pages | 72 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367337704
pub: 2020-07-20
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Have you ever heard of a sushi burrito? Is it possible to have boba without boba? Do you really know what a dumpling is? ‘Delicious Words: East Asian Food Words in English’ delves deep into the interactions and evolution of food words - a transnational, transcultural, and translingual phenomenon - and examines the lives of such words in today’s discourse on eating and drinking. With case studies from Japan to Mongolia, Hong Kong to Korea, China to Vietnam, and beyond, this book examines how more and more words are becoming borderless, forming new, global identities that are continuously influenced by multiple languages and cultures. ‘Delicious Words’ also introduces the 3E model which describes how the three motives of efficiency, expressivity, and empathy influence the shaping of a borderless lexicon in the daily language of individuals.

By showcasing some lesser-known regional cuisines, alongside staple dishes that many already know and love, ‘Delicious Words’ offers a wide range of examples to illustrate the metamorphosis of how we engage with food words. The role of social media is now at the forefront of this change, where your everyday online user can be considered a pioneer and participant in shaping culinary lexicon. In an increasingly interconnected society, the ways in which we understand and use food words are rapidly transforming; linguistic freedom and creativity are permitted, and even encouraged! The intersection between East Asian food and language are brought into dialogue through ‘Delicious Words’; an accessible and mouth-watering read that will whet your linguistic appetite and leave you hungry for more.

This book will be of interest to general readers, as well as those who are engaged in East Asian studies, English linguistics, intercultural communication studies, translation studies, and lexicography.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



List of Figures

List of Tables


Chapter 1. Food Words as Translingual Words

Chapter 2. Early Encounters: First-generation Food Words

Chapter 3. Fusion, Localisation, and Hybridity: Second-generation Food Words 

Chapter 4. Globalisation and Social Media: the Global Food Words

Chapter 5. New Words as Cultural Capital



About the Author

Jieun Kiaer is an Associate Professor of Korean Language and Linguistics at the University of Oxford. Her research interests include the formation of translingual/transcultural words and dynamic lexicons, she is particularly interested in the role of social media in the global lexicon. Kiaer is the series editor for ‘Routledge Studies in East Asian Translation’and has most recently published Translingual Words (Routledge 2019).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in East Asian Translation

Routledge Studies in East Asian Translaiton aims to discuss issues and challenges involved in translation between Chinese, Japanese and Korean as well as from these languages into European languages with an eye to comparing the cultures of translation within East Asia and tracking some of their complex interrelationships.

Most translation theories are built on translation between European languages, with only few exceptions. However, this Eurocentric view on language and translation can be seriously limited in explaining the translation of non-European literature and scholarship, especially when it comes to translating languages outside the Indo-European family that have radically different script forms and grammatical categories, and may also be embedded in very different writing traditions and cultures. This series considers possible paradigm shifts in translation theory, arguing that translation theory and practice need to go beyond European languages and encompass a wider range of literature and scholarship.

The series will primarily consist of focus/shortform books and monographs dedicated to discussing following issues:

-Inter-translation in East Asia

-Diglossia and other multilingual/multiliterate practices in East Asia

-Translingualism in East Asia

-The role of Chinese characters in East Asia

-Linguistic and cultural issues in translating East Asian languages and literature into

European languages

-Translation cultures

-Literary writing that engages with translation or translingual aspects within the East Asian context or between East Asian and European traditions

-Academic (especially literary) scholarship written in East Asian languages and the problem of their international invisibility due to lack of translation

-The significance of non-Eurocentric translation theory for world literature, comparative literature, and translation


To contact the series editors regarding interest in the series please find their information here:

- Jieun Kiaer:

- Xiaofan Amy Li:

Learn more…

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