sink / counter (kitchen)

elroy

Imperfect Mod
US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
In colloquial Arabic, we use the same word for "sink" and "(kitchen) counter" (which is the word that actually means "sink"). The logic? You put things in a sink but on a counter, so the preposition makes it crystal clear what is intended. I mean, of course you could just be talking about the sink or counter itself, but in those cases context would make it clear I guess.

I was just wondering if any other languages used the same word for both.
 
  • Whodunit

    Senior Member
    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I know what you mean, but we have no word for "counter" in German. :(

    Well, I think you're looking for "Becken" (sink) and "Spüle" (counter)

    Explanation:

    Becken:
    - an integrated thing in the counter where you can pour off water. Picture.

    Spüle:
    - a piece of furniture where you can put things. Picture.

    Neverthless, we actually only use "Spüle" for both.
     

    alby

    Senior Member
    Croatia
    In croatian sink is "sudoper", and counter would be "kuhinja"

    we have the same preposition for both of these words

    - on counter/u kuhinju/i
    - in sink/u sudoper/u

    We usually use kuhinja for both.
     

    Ralf

    Senior Member
    German
    Whodunit said:
    ...
    Well, I think you're looking for "Becken" (sink) and "Spüle" (counter)

    Explanation:

    Becken:
    - an integrated thing in the counter where you can pour off water. Picture.

    Spüle:
    - a piece of furniture where you can put things. Picture.

    Neverthless, we actually only use "Spüle" for both.
    The correct term for kitchen counter in German is "Abtropffläche" or "Abstellfläche". But usually, as who pointed out, the term "Spüle" is used to refer to both.

    Another term for sink, however less frequently used nowadays, is "Ausguss".

    Ralf
     

    yasemin

    Senior Member
    Turkey, Turkish
    i think sink is where you wash the vegetables, where the water runs. kind of washbasin. we say lavabo in turkish. counter, on the other hand, where you can cut these vegetables. it is a level surface next to sink. which we call tezgah in turkish. i hope i understand correctly.

    and in turkish there are not seperated propositions:( lavaboda (in the sink), tezgahta (on the counter). for the former da is used, and for the latter ta is added, just because of the last letters of lavabo and tezgah.
    :)
     

    Isis

    Member
    Philippines Filipino,English,Spanish,Chinese and Bahasa Melayu
    In Filipino or Tagalog:

    sink - lababo ( la-ba-bau )
    kitchen - kusina ( kü-si-nä )


     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    In Czech:
    counter - (kuchyňská) linka ("kitchen line"), preposition: on
    sink - dřez, preposition: in

    Jana
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Thank you for your responses. I take it no other language uses one word for both - not even colloquially.
     

    Ruaidhrí

    New Member
    Ireland/Irish/English
    Hi Elroy.


    In Ireland (in my case in Dublin) kitchen words have changed within the span of my own memory (I'm 47). The word 'counter' is new. We used to call it the 'table top'. And even that was new in the sixties as we didn't tend to have fitted kitchens as we do now.

    'sink' is also new to some Dubliners. We used to call it 'trough' - which we pronounced 'throw' (as in to throw a ball - with Irish 'th' ), although it is the same word that is pronounced 'trof'. We would have pronounced 'horse trough' as 'trof'', however.

    Hope you find this helpful
     

    Manic

    New Member
    Czechoslovakia (czech)
    Jana337 said:
    In Czech:
    counter - (kuchyňská) linka ("kitchen line"), preposition: on
    sink - dřez, preposition: in

    Jana
    I had forgotten those. Thanks for the reminder. I would have said:

    pult - counter
    umyvadlo - sink/washbasin (maybe more of a bathroom sink refrence???)
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    Hello and welcome! :)

    Kuchyňský pult sounds very unusual to me. Google generates some hits, but they are few compared to kuchyňská linka.
    About umyvadlo - yes, umyvadlo can be found in the bathroom. I wouldn't use the word for the bowl where you wash dishes.

    Jana
     

    apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Greek:

    Sink is «νεροχύτης» [neɾoˈçitis] (masc.), a Late Byzantine masc. noun < compound; ByzGr nominalised adj. «νερόν» nerón & «νηρόν» nērón --> water < adj. «νεαρόν» nearón (neut.) --> young, fresh (which used to modify the neut. noun «ὕδωρ» húdōr --> water), which has undergone nominalization and is thus used as a noun: «Ὕδωρ νεαρόν» --> fresh water > «νεαρόν» > «νε(α)ρό(ν)» + zero-grade deverbative noun «χύτης» kʰútēs (masc.) --> pourer, from v. «χέω» kʰéō --> to pour, pour out, gush, shed, douse, empty, heap up (PIE *ǵʰeu̯- to pour cf Skt. हुन् (hun), sacrifice, होम (homa), Vedic ritual, ToA/B käw- to pour, Lat. fundēre, Proto-Germanic *geutaną > Ger. gießen, Dt. gieten).

    Technically speaking, counter is «επιφάνεια στράγγισης» [epiˈfani.a ˈstraɲɟisis] --> lit. surface/area of drainage but in every-day language we call it νεροχύτης too, so, add Greek to your list of languages that colloquially use the same word for both.
    «Στράγγιση» [ˈstraɲɟisi] (fem.) --> drainage < Classical 3rd declension fem. noun «στράγξ» strắnk͡s (nom. sing.), «στραγγός» străngós (gen. sing.) --> squeezed-out drop (probably IE, related to Lat. stringere, Ltv. stringt, to become stiff, wither, OHG strengi, stretched).
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    In Dutch we have something similar as in German
    Becken:
    - an integrated thing in the counter where you can pour off water. Picture.

    Spüle:
    - a piece of furniture where you can put things. Picture.

    Neverthless, we actually only use "Spüle" for both.
    - wasbak, maybe spoelbak
    - aanrecht

    Gootsteen might be similar (in/ on), though, because it used to be one piece, in stone, I think, and they belong(ed) together...
     

    Sardokan1.0

    Senior Member
    Sardu / Italianu
    Sardinian :

    Càntaru = sink, tub, large tank

    From Latin "Cantharus" which also derives from Greek "Kantharos" = big cup used for drinking

    It's surely the origin of the English "counter", "decanter" etc.etc.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    I have checked at Etymonline.org, Sardokan, and alas: it has to do with Latin "computatorium", the place of accounts, it reads. However, if you refer to the flat board where you put the dishes, then there might be a link with "desk", but I suppose you do not use a desk-like word in Sardinian to refer to that...
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    In FR: sink = évier, counter = plan de travail (there might be another word I'm not aware of).
    When I read about this distinction, I think we might have to add a third term though. When I look at the sink here at home, there is a basin (afwasbak), the place for the dishes and the working place, strictly speaking. We refer to the latter two using the same word, because the place often (...) serves as a "plan de travail" whereas it is in some cases meant to be a "dripping place" only (and made for that: "Abstellfläche" in German, the place for putting aside the dishes)...
    On the picture here there is another solution: two basins, one with a grid (where one can put cups and dishes after having dipsped them into water without detergent) and two working-spaces on two sides...

    I'd like to see Whodunit's pictures in #2, but the links are 'dead'...
     
    Last edited:

    Messquito

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    In Chinese, it's the same in practice, we call it/them 流理台(liu2 li3 tai2). I guess 流=(water) flowing, 理=料理(cooking), 台=platform.
    I'd say it technically only refers to the "counter" as a whole (we would say 檯面(counter surface/platform) or 水槽(sink) for clarification if ever needed). But in practice, it can be translated to both kitchen sink and kitchen counter and the other way around.
    That somewhat illustrates the fact that, in Chinese, a lot of times you have to rely on quantifiers and prepositions to really understand what something means in a certain context.
    幫我把碗放流理台。Put the bowls at the sink/countertop for me. (在=at, in this case it's ambiguous.)
    幫我把盤子放(在)流理台。 Put the plates in the sink for me. ((在)...理=in)
    幫我把湯匙放(在)流理台。 Put the spoon on the countertop for me. ((在)...上=on)
    幫我把筷子放(在)流理台旁邊。Put the chopsticks by the sink for me. ((在)...旁邊=by, besides) =(usually) Put the chopsticks on the countertop for me.
     

    djmc

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    In a traditional English kitchen one may have a sink (the old-fashioned deep ceramic ones which now cost a fortune may be called Belfast sinks). Draining into this would be a draining board where plates, dishes may be put before and after washing before being dried. These would be along the wall but not necessarily above any cabinets or shelves. One may also have a table which would be free-standing. Nowadays there would be a work-surface covering the kitchen cabinets which are set along the walls. The sink would be inset into this. Often the sink-unit may include a draining board.
     
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