Korean has too many confusing whats, so here you go:
|저는 빵이 좋아요.||무엇이 좋아요?|
|I like bread.||What do you like?|
|저는 크루아상이 좋아요.||무슨 빵이 좋아요?|
|I like croissant.||What bread do you like?|
|저는 큰 빵이 좋아요.||어떤 빵이 좋아요?|
|I like big bread.||What (kind of) bread do you like?|
|저는 이 빵이 좋아요.||어느 빵이 좋아요?|
|I like this bread.||Which bread do you like?|
무엇 is a pronoun, 무슨 is a determiner (a replacement of 무엇 where the category is specified), and 어떤 is an adjective. Since "I like croissant." could also be an answer to "Which food is delicious?", both what and which are accepted here, but please keep in mind there's a slight difference.
For those who say "what food" sounds weird, there is no better translation. Which is too specific, and what kind of is too loose (though we chose to accept all of them). "어떤 스마트폰이 좋아요?" asks what qualities you look for in smartphones while "무슨 스마트폰이 좋아요?" asks what model(s) you like. What kind of is not for the latter. "What food" in this sense shouldn't sound weird.
Personally, I like the hot chicken flavour ramen or 불닭볶음면 though I wish it was spicier. ;)
I will have to think of 무슨 as "what type of" and 어떤 as "what quality of" because I don't think of adjectives as types or kinds, I think of them as qualities. (I would not actually translate 어떤 as "what quality of" because in English that would imply "how good," which is a different meaning. But it will help me remember which is about a category/type and which is about qualities/adjectives.)
I got directed here by the tips and notes on formal moods, so here goes. "I like croissant." should of course be "I like croissants." IMHO "What kind of" meaning "What qualities" is not proper English anyway as bread is made and not bred. Japanese seems to have words meaning all of these (무엇 何, 무슨 何の(なんの), 어떤 何の(どの), 어느(どれ)) used pretty much the same way, or at least running into similar difficulties. 맛있습니까? if like 美味しいですか? is a bit more like "is good to eat?" in my experience. If you say something is not tasty/delicious English speakers will eat it anyway just to try it, and . . .
"What food" is English, but when they state that it's not they mean it doesn't have the meaning you're ascribing to it. In use, extremely rare as it is, it means roughly where's the definite food that's expected, not a choice of it: "What food is for dinner?" generally followed by "Will we be eating tonight?" "So let's eat!" "What food would we eat?" To be broken down into types/kinds/sorts it must be foods or a food. So there you go, basically. In English it would be "What foods are good to eat?" or "What is a food that is good to eat?" The Korean means both as it does not distinguish between singular and plural, obviously.
I'd call "what food" in Japanese (and have heard it called) "何料理(なにりょうり)" which comes back as "무엇 음식". That's what you're saying. It sounds a bit weird, doesn't it? You might even say it is a mistake. Well, that's proof that it's the best translation . . .
P.S. The course notes now say (8 May 2020) there's no "please" in Korean? What happened to 부탁(합니다)? It's not often used, but it gets the job done when you need an emphatic please, no?
Idk what English you all speak, but what food is fine in my dialect of suburban Massachusetts, which I consider to be fairly close to General American.
What food are we getting tonight? completely normal
Which implies options. What is a blank inquiry.
What food should we get tonight?
Don't know, what food is delicious?
^^ Completely natural. I think which food would be unnatural in the two sentences above unless the speakers were looking at a list of restaurants in the area from which they would choose.
(edited) i understand what you mean about colloquial English. I grew up with standard American English, plus differences in the colloquial choices on my paternal side differing from where my mom was from.
But for me, in order to understand Korean, I realize from Ash-Freds comments here (and those in the online tips and notes), I'll have to accept the grammar and intent of Korean concepts.
I'm looking for classes or meetup groups with native speakers so I can ask about the shades of meanings between the two language's concepts. I know that will make all the difference. Duolingo teaches, but it's structure is mainly to encourage us to study so we can learn basics.
"What food" may not be, strictly speaking, standard English, but people use "what" like that all the time in spoken language. Just because a phrase wouldn't be acceptable in an academic paper doesn't mean it's not good English.
If I ask my friend "What food d'you want?", I'm expecting them to tell me about dishes they are willing to eat in the moment, perhaps to help me decide what to cook. In this sense, "which" is too specific and "what kind of" might get too vague an answer. At the very least, "what food" is quicker and easier to say.
Food is sometimes made plural. It's grammatically incorrect, but it does get used in spoken English. It wouldn't be strange to hear someone say, "What foods do you like?" despite it being a nonsensical word choice - considering that food is already both singular and plural.
I actually think you're more likely to hear someone say, "What foods do you like?" than you would "What food do you like?" At least in my experience.
Thank you, Ash-Fred, for your clarification but, as I can see no-one else ask this question, I feel I must. How does the word 어떻게 fit into the 'World of What'? Naver has it as 'How', and also 'What', and I've seen many subtitles where it has been translated (maybe for ease) as 'what'. But it is not on your list. Cheers Glenn
You guys are by far complicating the translation. 무슨 is best translated as "which" or "what kind." It is not used like "what" in English at all. Best as "which food is good" or "what kind of food is good"? Using "delicious" or "tasty" in this context is also very clumsy and clunky.