How to say "chocolate" in Japanese

The Japanese word for "chocolate" is "chokoreeto".

Origin of the word

Chocolate came to Japan during the Edo period. A note was found dating to 1797 listing the presents a Japanese courtesan received from a Dutch visitor, and in this note chocolate was mentioned as one of the items. That was the first historical record of chocolate being mentioned ever in Japan, so it seems that chocolate was brought for the first time to Japan on a Dutch trading vessel.

chocolate was brought on a Dutch ship

In another record a few years later, chocolate was described as "a medicine you melt to consume". However during this time there was no official trade in chocolate, merely the Japanese acquaintances of Dutch traders got to try some that they had brought along for their own consumption.

This means that the word is borrowed from the Dutch language, just the Dutch word "chocolade" changed slightly to make it easier to pronounce in Japanese.

How to write chocolate in Japanese

chocolate in Japanese

The word in Japanese consists of the syllables "cho ko ree to", written in katakana writing as チョコレート. The pronunciation is "cho" as in "CHOice", "ko" as in "COmplete", "ree" like "REEH" and finally "to" as in "TOny" — cho ko ree to.

More to read

If you would like to learn what kind of chocolates you can get in Japan, here is a big list of Japanese chocolates. Oh and did you know some chocolates cost as much as $100?