BSJ N°15 – being in Japan, the absence of good sweet food really pains me. No crumble, no good cake, no luscious crunchy palmiers from the three boulangeries on my street. I was bemoaning this state of affairs to my friend Hiro and I asked him if there was a way of saying “sweet tooth” in Japanese. There is, and it’s wonderful.
“I have a sweet tooth” is 甘党です (amatou desu)). A translation of this would be « I’m in the sweet group », but a more Japanterous and indeed faithful translation is « I’m a member of the Sweet Party », “tou” being used for political parties. This contrasts 辛党 (karatou), the Spicy Party (though I think it can also be used to just mean savoury).
Imagine cross-generational political engagement if we could vote for the Sweet Party or the Spicy Party, if BBC Parliament were as fun as watching Nigella’s Naughty Midnight Feasts or whatever. I, for one, would be a marginal voter, attracted by utopian promises of tighter curry-heat regulation but mindful of the practical benefits of levies on imported biscuits and cakes. Perhaps the parties’ positions on whether a Jaffa cake would fall within the purview thereof would swing it for me.
As Japanteraddendum, karatou, a savoury tooth, is a polite way of saying “piss-head”.