I thought that was a Seoul term, but I may have picked it up in Honolulu or Vancouver.
Anyhoo, I thought the bilingual sign was interesting, but what they really needed was a "Please, no alcohol-soaked, loud-talking, soccer-loving ajoshis still high as a kite after watching the World Cup" sign.
I've heard it called that ("Bubble Tea") here in Australia too. I first remember hearing the term around ten years ago, but my Seoulian wife whom I met just a few years ago wasn't familiar with the term before hearing it from me.ReplyDelete
I suspect the term is a Taiwanese-English perversion in origin, and so may not have propagated to Korea.
I think you may be right, and Wikipedia seems to support your theory.ReplyDelete
But I'm almost certain that when the bubble tea fad erupted — about a third of the way through this just ended decade, when over the course of a few months these shops suddenly appeared on every street corner in places like Shinchon — I read "bubble tea" in English-language signs throughout Seoul and heard that used in Korean.