Tim's blog. 日本人がよく間違える英語バイキング

Level2 – Viking

My classes this week are about restaurants so I’d like to write a blog about a very common mistake my students sometimes make.

A: What did you have for lunch?
B: We ate Viking! (バイキング)

When I first came to Japan I was very surprised by this answer because バイキング, in English is an all you can eat buffet and it’s inspired by Swedish Smörgåsbord (buffet) restaurants. The Hotel that started the trend in Japan (the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo) thought that Smörgåsbord was not a catchy name and also was difficult to pronounce. At that time “The Vikings” was a very popular Hollywood film. Someone watched it and thought that Viking was a perfect word for buffet style dining. After all both words come from Scandinavia. Personally I am not so sure.

Important Expressions:
a common mistake
an all you can eat buffet
be inspired by
catchy
difficult to pronounce
I am not so sure