CultureEssayEtymologyJapanese traditionLanguageScienceUncorrected

Mizu” and “Oyu” (Water and Hot Water)

  • In English, the word “water” is used regardless of the temperature.


    However, the literal translation “atsui mizu” (“atsui” means “hot” and “mizu” means “water” in Japan) is a little unnatural.
    英語では、「お湯」と「水」どちらにも “water” という単語を用います。

    In Japanese language, nouns that represent water change depending on the temperature.
    しかし、”hot water” を直訳した「熱い水」と言う日本語は少し不自然です。

    “Mizu” often translates into “water”, but if you say just “mizu”, it will represent “cold water”.

    If you want to represent “hot water” or “boiled water”, you have to say “oyu/yu” or “netto”.
    「水」は “water” と訳されますが、単に「水」と言うとそれは通常 “cold water” を表します。

    If you want to represent “chilled water”, you have to say “reisui” or “hyosui”.
    “Hot water” や “boiled water” を表したい場合は、「お湯」や「熱湯」と言います。

    By the way, “lukewarm water” is referred to as “nuruma yu”, and if the water was once boiled, it’s referred to as “sayu”.
    “Chilled water” を表したい場合は、「冷水」や「氷水」などと言います。

    Original sentence