Flying Pan restaurant

Chinese, Japanese and Korean speakers of English stereotypically struggle with the English /l/ and /r/ sounds, either transposing them or producing a sound half-way between.

The priest at the church I attend invited me to meet him for dinner, then texted the restaurant’s name :‘Flying Pan’. I wondered whether he had made an understandable mistake. I checked online and found that the name is actually ‘Flying Pan’. The question then is, did the owners of the restaurant make a happy mistake or did they produce a deliberate play on words? A quick search online shows that there are ‘Flying Pan‘ restaurants in my city, Seoul, Hong Kong and New York, as well as a ‘Frying Pan’ restaurant in New York (and no doubt others elsewhere). ‘Flying Pan’ might connote fast food, but it was a mid-elegant restaurant.

Sometimes the boot is on the other foot. I mentioned the movie 오빠 생각 (o-ppa saen-gak) which I saw earlier this year. The choir of war orphans travels to 철원, which can be transliterated as cheor-won or cheorl-won. It took me several attempts for him to understand me, only after I added ‘near the DMZ’. (And I said ‘dee-em-zee’ rather than ‘dee-em-zed’.)


2 thoughts on “Flying Pan restaurant

  1. Zed. Zed caused me a good deal of grief as a child. My Australian mum taught me the alphabet, and her recitation/instruction was reinforced by the nuns who taught me in the Sydney kindergarten I attended. Naturally, as far as I knew,
    zed was the last letter. However, we moved back to the States right after kindergarten. My new teaching nuns had a problem with the way I recited the alphabet and, since mum continued to use zed until confronted by the nuns, I was one terribly confused kid.


    • From Wikipedia: “In most English-speaking countries, including Britain, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia, the letter’s name is zed /ˈzɛd/, reflecting its derivation from the Greek zeta (this dates to Latin, which borrowed X, Y, and Z from Greek, along with their names), but in American English its name is zee /ˈziː/, analogous to the names for B, C, D, etc., and deriving from a late 17th century English dialectal form.”


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