Monday, July 12, 2010

Sign of the times

I'm in a bubble tea shop in OC that is straight out of Seoul, though interestingly they had not heard boba-infused tea referred to as "bubble tea."

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.

Just sayin'.


  1. 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.

    I suspect the term is a Taiwanese-English perversion in origin, and so may not have propagated to Korea.

  2. I think you may be right, and Wikipedia seems to support your theory.

    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.


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