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September 4, 2007

Choose One Name from Column A...

beijing-2008.gifThe Chinese government is concerned about the effect mistranslated menus could have on foreign visitors during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. And small wonder, if the English-language versions of restaurant menus in China resemble those found in other parts of the world.

Of the 2,753 items on the list, the BBC News cites "burnt lion's head" and "virgin chicken," but those are fairly minor offenders by comparison with some of the examples available on the Internet.

John Rahoi's posting has been widely recognized as the "worst menu translation ever," with good reason, as scarcely a single item on it can be identified as something that would be safe to eat.

Would you want to order one of these?

  • Cowboy leg
  • Rurality salad
  • Good to eat mountain
  • Slippery meat in king's vegetable pillar
  • Fragrant bone in garlic in strange flavor

The Karazen Forum has a few gems, as well, of which my favorites are "government abuse chicken" and "husband and wife's lungs."

Authentic Chinese food can be intimidating enough to Westerners without toxic-sounding mistranslations.

Our expert in the Chinese language will be providing input into this translation exercise.

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Posted by William Lozito at September 4, 2007 9:30 AM
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We've talked about the strange names that show up on Chinese menus before. Now Mark Liberman at Language Log has unearthed a distinctly indigestible dish: stir-fried Wikipedia, photographed by Jim Benson in Beijing this past October. Or you could try t... [Read More]

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1 Comment

Came across this book which shows 100s of such misleading translations... Have a look... http://www.freebookzone.com/fetch.php?bkcls=misc&bkidx=100

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