September 01, 2013
Rather than tell about my own first experiences with cilantro/coriander, as a language professional, I thought it might be a good idea to provide the word for cilantro and a phrase to the effect you don't want to eat anything that contains it in a whole lot of languages (especially those of countries where cilantro is a common ingredient). For the well known European languages I've used the native spelling. For more exotic languages written with different alphabets, I've given equivalents in English phonetics. Here goes:
In the UK and most English-speaking countries, the herb Americans call cilantro is called coriander, just the same as the seeds.
French: la coriandre; pas de coriandre s'il vous plaît means no cilantro, please.
Spanish: el cilantro; algo que no trae cilantro means something without cilantro.
Italian: il coriandolo; senza coriandolo means without cilantro.
Portuguese (the only cuisine in Europe that uses it regularly) o coentro (often pluralized to os coentros); sem coentro means without cilantro.
In most other European languages it's a name you will recognize as coriander. Polish is the exception.
Arabic: koozbara; leh koozbara means no coriander.
Russian: kariander, or sometimes known as kindzi, from Georgian.
Georgian: kindzi; kindzi ara means no cilantro.
Hindi: thania (voiced th sound as in this or then)
Chinese: siang tsy; boo chuh siang tsy means I don't eat cilantro.
Thai/Laotian: pak chee
Vietnamese: mui; also ngo, but ngo ta is the seed. Toi kong an ngo means I don't eat cilantro.