To Germans, ‘oriental’ seems to have a very specific meaning. Whilst visiting one of my first parks, the Gärten der Welt (Gardens of the World), a signpost for the Orientalische Garten caught my eye. Fully expecting East-Asian elements, I was confused at finding Islamic ones instead.
Looking up Leo, my trusty German online dictionary, I found an interesting discussion thread on the use of the word. To summarise, ‘orientalisch’ appears to apply to things Islamic, particularly food, dance and music, but it is acknowledged as colloquial, old-fashioned and/or connotes an exoticism or romanticising thereof. ω