pumpkin / squash

< Previous | Next >

yuechu

Senior Member
Canada, English
Hello/大家好,

I was looking up the words for "pumpkin" and "squash" today and they both seem to be "南瓜" in the dictionaries. Is there any way of differentiating these two foods (pumpkins being a type of squash) in Chinese?
Thanks/谢谢!
 
  • endlessnight2004

    Member
    Chinese
    Well, to me, squash and pumpkin are the same thing in most cases (南瓜). If you want to differentiate them, you may describe them in different ways, for example Japanese Squash, Sugar Squash and so on. I don't think we have a special term to differentiate the two types of food.
     

    Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    Searching from the internet it seems that "spaghetti squash" doesn't have a definite translation in Chinese.
    There is 面条瓜、鱼翅瓜 (Taiwan)、金丝瓜 (Also used in Japanese)、黄金瓜 etc.
    Maybe it's an imported food in China, so it's been translated in many different ways? I've never seen it.

    For "squash" according to English Wikipedia:
    Well known types of squash include the pumpkin and zucchini.
    So it seems that in English "squash" is rather a general term for different vegetables than a specific one.
    The nearest way to translate it in Chinese is using the scientific/biological term 南瓜属 (which means Cucurbita) but is not used in daily life. It includes pumpinks, zucchini, various kinds of squashes, etc.
    Chinese Wikipedia article about 南瓜属 seems to confirm that:
    在北美地区,常见的南瓜属品种经常都被笼统的称作squash
    In North America, common species of Cucurbita are all called undistinguishingly squash.
    Compare the first sentence that appears in the previously-linked article about Squash:
    Squashes generally refer to four species of the genus Cucurbita
    On the other hand, the article about Cucurbita never specifies that some species of Cucurbita are called Squash in English, but uses the term "Summer squash" as opposed to "the winter varietes (of Cucurbita)" so treats squash and Cucurbita as synonyms.

    In Chinese, you could use 瓜, if you don't want to use a scientific term like 南瓜属, but don't want to specify if it's a pumpkin, zucchini, spaghetti squash or other kinds of squash.
    But note that in Chinese 瓜 is even more general than squash: it includes not only squashes, but also some fruits like melons in the large meaning: melons(哈密瓜), watermelons (西瓜), winter melons (冬瓜), etc; and also papayas (木瓜;scientific name: 番木瓜).

    Although on the Internet I found somebody translating "spaghetti squash" as 黄金瓜, it seems that it's not correct.
    Actually 金瓜 is just a dialectal term to call 南瓜 (pumpkin).
    According to Chinese Wikipedia about 南瓜
    臺灣話稱為金瓜
    In Taiwanese the pumpkin is called 金瓜
    According to Baidu Baike article about 金瓜
    是南瓜的俗称,浙南、福建、台湾民间称南瓜为金瓜。
    金瓜 is a colloquial name of the pumpkin, used among the folk in Southern Zhejiang, Fujian and Taiwan.
    I can confirm, I'm from Southern Zhejiang, and in our dialect we call the pumpkin 金瓜。:)
     
    Last edited:

    endlessnight2004

    Member
    Chinese
    Searching from the internet it seems that "spaghetti squash" doesn't have a definite translation in Chinese.
    There is 鱼翅瓜 (Taiwan)、面条瓜、金丝瓜 (Also used in Japanese)、黄金瓜 etc.
    Maybe it's an imported food in China, so it's been translated in many different ways? I've never seen it.

    For "squash" according to English Wikipedia:

    So it seems that in English "squash" is rather an ensemble of different vegetables than a specific one.
    The most accurate way to translate it in Chinese is using the scientific/biological term 南瓜属, which means Cucurbita, thus is not used in daily life. It includes pumpinks, zucchini, various kinds of squashes, etc.
    Chinese Wikipedia article about 南瓜属 seems to confirm that:

    Compare the first sentence that appears in the previously-linked article about Squash:

    On the other hand, the article about Cucurbita never specifies that some species of Cucurbita are called Squash in English, but uses the term "Summer squash" as opposed to "the winter varietes (of Cucurbita)" so treats squash and Cucurbita as synonyms.

    In Chinese, you could use 瓜, if you don't want to use a scientific term like 南瓜属, but don't want to specifiy if it's a pumpkin, zucchini, spaghetti squash or other kinds of squash.
    But note that in Chinese 瓜 is even more general than squash: it includes not only squashes, but also some fruits like melons in the large meaning: melons(哈密瓜), watermelons (西瓜), winter melons (冬瓜), etc; and also papayas (木瓜;scientific name: 番木瓜).

    Although on the Internet I found somebody translating "spaghetti squash" as 黄金瓜, it seems that it's not correct.
    Actually 金瓜 is just a dialectal term to call 南瓜 (pumpkin).
    According to Chinese Wikipedia about 南瓜

    According to Baidu Baike article about 金瓜

    I can confirm, I'm from Southern Zhejiang, in our dialect we call the pumpkin 金瓜。:)
    Well, I'm from Shanghai, we never call pumpkin 金瓜。What we call 金瓜 is spaghetti squash. Sometimes it is also called 黄金瓜 or 金丝瓜 here in Shanghai. And my grandma call pumpkin "饭瓜 (番瓜)“。
     

    endlessnight2004

    Member
    Chinese
    If you read Baidu Baike article about 金瓜, you can see that the second picture on the right is actually spaghetti squash, what we called "金瓜” in Shanghai. It's not an imported food, but a local product of Chong Ming. But the first picture on the left is what we call "南瓜" in Shanghai. We never use "金瓜“ to describe pumpkin although 金瓜 is a kind of squash.
     

    Youngfun

    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    I'm sorry. I didn't know spaghetti squash was a typical food in Shanghai (Chongming area), because I've never seen it. :)
    But you're right... 温州话 and 上海话 use many different words, despite being both 吴语。
    But I suppose it was a vegetable imported, maybe in ancient time, from outside China. Since 番 is used for foreign things. (So we have the scientific name 番木瓜 which means papaya, to distinguishes it from the Chinese native food 木瓜, which I don't know the English name. Although both are called 木瓜 in everyday life. Also we call the tomato 番茄 because it arrived in China from America through Europe, I guess some centuries ago.)

    That's even more confusing, since in my dialect we call pumpkin 金瓜 or 黄金瓜……
    Could 金瓜 be a short for 金丝瓜?
    And have you ever heard 鱼翅瓜 and 面条瓜?
    But in many blogs, probably written by non-Shanghaineses, it's always quoted in recipes with the English name "spaghetti squash" and talking about it as a foreign food, as a new food. And 面条瓜 looks like a calque fromt he English "spaghetti squash", maybe it's not so common in China outside of Shanghai?

    In our dialect we also call zucchini 金瓜儿,which translated would be 小南瓜。
    I saw it's called 小南瓜 in many places in the South of China too, but not in Taiwan. A friend from Taiwan thought I was talking about small size pumpkings.
    While in Northern China it's called 西葫芦。(here it's also evident it came from the West)
    In Italian it's also called 小南瓜。 The English word zucchini comes from Italian. In Italian the singular form is zucchino or zucchina. The word for pumpking is "zucca", then adding "-ina" or "-ino" means "small". So small pumpking.
    How do you call zucchini in Shanghai?
     

    endlessnight2004

    Member
    Chinese
    I'm sorry. I didn't know spaghetti squash was a typical food in Shanghai (Chongming area), because I've never seen it. :)
    But you're right... 温州话 and 上海话 use many different words, despite being both 吴语。
    But I suppose it was a vegetable imported, maybe in ancient time, from outside China. Since 番 is used for foreign things. (So we have the scientific name 番木瓜 which means papaya, to distinguishes it from the Chinese native food 木瓜, which I don't know the English name. Although both are called 木瓜 in everyday life. Also we call the tomato 番茄 because it arrived in China from America through Europe, I guess some centuries ago.)

    That's even more confusing, since in my dialect we call pumpkin 金瓜 or 黄金瓜……
    Could 金瓜 be a short for 金丝瓜?
    And have you ever heard 鱼翅瓜 and 面条瓜?
    But in many blogs, probably written by non-Shanghaineses, it's always quoted in recipes with the English name "spaghetti squash" and talking about it as a foreign food, as a new food. And 面条瓜 looks like a calque fromt he English "spaghetti squash", maybe it's not so common in China outside of Shanghai?

    In our dialect we also call zucchini 金瓜儿,which translated would be 小南瓜。
    I saw it's called 小南瓜 in many places in the South of China too, but not in Taiwan. A friend from Taiwan thought I was talking about small size pumpkings.
    While in Northern China it's called 西葫芦。(here it's also evident it came from the West)
    In Italian it's also called 小南瓜。 The English word zucchini comes from Italian. In Italian the singular form is zucchino or zucchina. The word for pumpking is "zucca", then adding "-ina" or "-ino" means "small". So small pumpking.
    How do you call zucchini in Shanghai?
    We Shanghainese call zucchini 西葫芦. I have never heard people (in Shanghai) call it 小南瓜。Most people even don't know it's a kind of squash.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top