From watching a brief documentary piece on TV about how jelly beans are made, I learned a new Taiwan-specific Mandarin term: Léigēn táng (雷根糖).
Leigen is a Mandarinization of the name of Ronald Reagan, who famously loved jelly beans. And táng is the word for sugar/candy. So Léigēn táng / “Reagan candy” is a term (but not the only one) in Taiwan for jelly beans. Cool name. I’m going to remember that.
Oddly, Google Translate didn’t know the term yet — or apparently even that Léigēn is how one says “Reagan” in Taiwan, given how Google Translate produced “Regan [sic] Candy”. But at least Google Translate didn’t produce “thunder root sugar,” which would be a literal translation of each morpheme, taken individually.
I sent feedback, so let’s see if it gets corrected.
In China, “Reagan” is usually written instead as 里根 (Lǐgēn). But it doesn’t look like either 里根糖 (Lǐgēn táng) or 雷根糖 (Léigēn táng) is a thing in the PRC. Instead, in China jelly beans are called “果冻豆” (guǒdòng dòu; lit. “jelly beans”) or “软心豆” (ruǎn xīn dòu; lit. “soft-heart beans”).
One wonders what jelly beans were called in Taiwan prior to Reagan administration. Maybe they just weren’t popular here yet.
It’s quite common for proper nouns to differ in Taiwan and China, especially for people. For example, see my old post on Obama, Bush, vitamin drinks, and puns.