I went to a art museum on Sunday afternoon. Not surprising or out of the ordinary for me, and as usual my fellow museum-nerd buddy and I had a great time - having to remind each other to look at the actual objects and not just the display techniques, dissecting the exhibits, and chatting about just about everything.
Two hanging picture scrolls got us talking about differences between English and Japanese. For example, the Japanese hato (鳩) translates into English as both "dove" and "pigeon." In Japanese, while many different types exist with different names, the two birds are not largely differentiated between (as based on the opinions of the three Japanese friends I went with, feel free to disagree) but in English, however, there is most definitely a differentiation! Common pigeons can be called the rat of the bird world and are often considered dirty pests while white doves are a symbol of peace. On the flip side, the English "duck" covers two terms in Japanese - kamo (鴨, sometimes translated as "wild duck") and ahiru (アヒル).
And then there is the "three-coloured ware horse" which I know isn't Japanese, but still doesn't look like English to me!