Jen Cardelús writes:
I live in a primarily Chinese community in the San Gabriel Valley (near LA) and don't yet speak any Chinese. I've been wonderfully bemused by the restaurant naming conventions in the area, and was wondering if you have any insight into how Chinese people name restaurants, and what (if any) particular words are presumably being translated to reach the strange/humorous results. In particular, "tasty" is used in the names of countless area restaurants. (My favorite is the lamentably-named Thousands Tasty, but there are also Tasty Garden, Tasty Dessert, Tasty Dining, Tasty Choice, New Tasty, Tasty Food, Tasty Noodle House, Tasty Duck, Beijing Tasty House, etc.) Obviously, "Garden" is another word often used in Chinese restaurant names that would never be used for a non-Asian restaurant in the US. Are these same sorts of restaurant names also seen in China, or are these patterns specific to Chinese restaurants in the US? As a sidenote, it is amazing to me that so many immigrants opening restaurants must not know anyone with a reasonable command of English to run their proposed restaurant names by (e.g. Qing Dao Bread Food).
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