Nuoc is used in composita in the meaning of "juice" as in nuoc chanh, nuoc ep, nuoc cam... The word juice should at least being accepted.
Nuoc is literally "water." along with a fruit name, it is translated as juice, but most often is water, and sometimes just a name for something liquid. Although my VN is far from stellar, I have done VN cooking for nearly 35 years, and am very familiar with certain terms, among them "nuoc"!!! Nuoc cham is the sauce to serve with spring rolls or over rice, and here the "nuoc" is translated as "sauce." So basically, if it's liquid, it's nuoc of some kind or other!
Vietnamese people use "nước dừa" to refer to coconut milk. Coconut water ̣(or juice, if you prefer) is called "nước dừa xiêm" to refer to the liquid in a young coconut.
Coconut milk is actually nước cốt dừa. Dừa xiêm is actually referring to the cultivar of coconut originated from Thailand
I've never heard anyone ever refer to the liquid inside a coconut as "juice". I think coconut water is the correct terminology here. I also believe that word coconut milk refers to the refined liquid that you get out of the white flesh.
They are two different things BUT "nước dừa" refers to coconut milk in all useful/normal contexts in Vietnamese.
JanekKenti, coconut milk is thick and very white, whereas coconut water is a (supposedly) refreshing drink drunk by millions (i don't personally like it, but I think I am in the minority) and also used fairly extensively in cooking. Great dish: pork cooked in coconut water, Sooooo delicious!
Coconut milk is what you get when you mix the shred of the white part of the coconut with water then press them. What you drink after tapping the coconut is the coconut water