If you can read Katakana, I’m sure you can figure out ストーブ is “stove,” but do you know what a “stove” is when it’s written in Katakana?

In Australia, a “stove” usually means a cooking device, doesn’t it? It can be a heating device but usually for cooking.

In Japan, ストーブ is always a heating device, usually with kerosene or gas.

Cooking devices are called コンロ. The origin of the word コンロ seems to be a Chinese word, 火炉. If you use gas for cooking, it can be called ガスコンロ.

Because ストーブ is a katakana word, I still sometimes say, "I’ll turn the stove on" meaning "I’ll turn the heater on" and I get asked "what are you cooking now?"

Similarly, if you talk about ストーブ in summer in Japan, people will be wondering why you want a heater in the middle of summer!

I’ll talk about a few more words like this in the coming weeks.

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