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Old 25 October 2012, 06:29 PM
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Japan Chunks of Monkey ice cream

Comment: I was on a tour up in Vermont at the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory.
They are known for giving their different flavors humorous names such as,
Cherry Garcia and Americone Dream. However, these puns don't always work
so well when translated in other languages other languages.

Ben & Jerry's noticed once of their flavors, Chunky Monkey, was not
selling very well in Japan. After consulting someone who was knowledgable
of the Japanese language they realized the name of their product had been
translated as "Chunks of Monkey". After learning this, Ben & Jerry's soon
changed the name to something that made more sense in Japanese.
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Old 25 October 2012, 06:48 PM
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Ben & Jerry's Japan facebook page.

Scroll down a bit and Chunky Monkey is indeed one of the flavours. Below it is "Chunky Monkey" in Katakana (チヤンキー モンキー), typically used as a script to phonetically transmit foreign words and phrases.
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Old 25 October 2012, 07:10 PM
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Spit Take

Google translates that katakana string into English as "Junky Monkey."
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Old 25 October 2012, 07:28 PM
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If you transliterate it according to the table in Wikipedia it would be "Tianki Monki" - either way, it's phonetically "Chunky Monkey" as near as possible, rather than a translation of the meaning.

It's not like Chunky Monkey makes much sense in English either, other than as a rhyme for chunky.
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Old 25 October 2012, 07:42 PM
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Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
It's not like Chunky Monkey makes much sense in English either, other than as a rhyme for chunky.
It makes some sense in that it conveys that the ice cream includes chunks of stuff (walnuts and chocolate) and, somewhat less obviously so, that it's banana-flavored. But simply reproducing the English phonetic pronunciation in Japanese script doesn't really convey anything at all to Japanese consumers.
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Old 25 October 2012, 07:42 PM
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Tuna eyeball is a delicacy in Japan, but apparently they draw the line at monkey chunks.
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Old 25 October 2012, 11:24 PM
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Monkey is one of the first words kids learn in in English so I seriously doubt that's a problem. Chunky is more problematic, although Campbell's does sell Chunky Soup with that word in katakana.

As for the story, it doesn't make any sense at all. The default for English words like this is katakana. I'm pretty sure Ben & Jerry's didn't translate any of their flavors by looking in a dictionary. The idea that they would wait until their first sales results were in to ask someone who understands Japanese is ridiculous. (Although it's even more ridiculous that there would ever be a flavor called 猿の粒 - which, hilariously, Google translates as "Grain of the Apes".)

I was thinking, though, maybe someone heard 'China' and remembered 'Japan'? This kind of thing is more common in transliteration to Chinese because the characters do have some literal meaning. Still seems unlikely to me.

Just one slight correction: It's チャンキー モンキー not チヤンキー モンキー
If you write it correctly into Google translate, Google renders it correctly as Chunky Monkey.

Unnecessary ice cream photo link follows. To make you hungry. For monkey chunks.
http://news.walkerplus.com/2012/0329/21/photo04.html
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Old 26 October 2012, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mateus View Post
Ben & Jerry's Japan facebook page.

Scroll down a bit and Chunky Monkey is indeed one of the flavours. Below it is "Chunky Monkey" in Katakana (チヤンキー モンキー), typically used as a script to phonetically transmit foreign words and phrases.
And if you look at the website, Chunky Monkey has the most "Likes" on Facebook. Berry Nice has the least.

Personally I'd be a little suspicious out "Phish Food". Hmm...would "Phish" translate to "Yellow Magic Orchestra" in Japanese
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Old 05 December 2012, 04:41 PM
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As an aside the raspberry/strawberry suace served on ice cream is known here as "Monkey's Blood". I may have to combine them.
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