I decided I am going to start “reviewing” one fun Japanese product a week. I’m going to do it every Wednesday. Most likely it will be food or drink, but not always. So here’s the first one!
I only bought this because I liked the label. I loved maneki neko (the good luck cat) so it instantly appealed to me. I’ve only been able to find it at the “dollar store” (the 100 yen shop), however. Considering they had no “normal” drinks for sale at the 100 yen shop, I figured this was bound to taste terrible. I was so wrong, however! I absolutely love this drink. The flavor is really difficult to describe but it is definitely sweet and almost has a candy taste to it.
I’ve been trying really hard to translate the label. This is what I’ve got:
The first line: なん ちゃって This is written in hiragana (one of the three Japanese writing systems). Each symbol represents a syllable, so it was easy enough for me to figure out the pronunciation. な=na,
ち=ra–however it’s combined with this little guy ゃ, so it is “cha” in this case
(っ=tsu if it’s big, but since it’s little it actually meant to double the consonant sound at the beginning of the next symbol)
て=te, so って=tte.
SO, it’s pronounced: nanchatte.
I don’t know what this means so I had to do some googling. What I got is that it means “I’m joking/kidding around.” Now that I think about it, I think I’ve heard this a lot, but just never knew what it meant.
So on to the next line, ワリー ムソーダ! This line is written in katakana. Katakana is used mostly for foreign words. (For example, my name would be written in katakana.) So before I even started to translate I knew this word is most likely based on an English word. Again, each symbol represents a syllable, except for ー, which just signifies that you should extend the previous vowel sound.
Wariimusooda. Here’s the thing about katakana: it usually ends of being what, as English speakers, we might consider “0ver-pronounced” English. I had to say this a few times over and over again to finally get what I *think* it means. Wariimu….sooda…WARM SODA!
Still, I don’t know what “warm soda” is supposed to be, besides it was kept in the refrigerated section at the store, but either way I am definitely a fan of wariimusooda.
I’m not sure why it says “I’m joking. Warm soda.” though. Maybe that’s the joke, that it’s not really warm soda? If anyone can shed some light on the complexities of this amazing drink, it would be much appreciated!