Travel Writing

Sometimes You Shouldn’t Translate the Menu

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Much of the travel happening in our family recently has been the husband traveling for work.  Sadly, I have only been able to hitch a ride along once, since life and school and lessons and all still have to go on here at home.  This does, however, lead to some of the most amazing emails and texts from my husband.

Recently, a menu with recommended dishes from the hotel restaurant was sent to him, and he just had to share with me.

Google Translation of Shanghai Hotel Menu – with commentary:

  • Baby Duck – awwww! 😯😢
  • Crispy Cow Shoulder Meat – sounds promising
  • Pigeon – didn’t I dream about talking these birds into committing suicide once?
  • Nest Egg Tarts – ok, that just sounds weird
  • Antarctic Immortality – um… I think this is what you call something that is so indescribably different that you have to serve it at -75 Celsius and anyone living through the experience must be immortal
  • Course Impregnable Dalian Abalone – um… no.
  • Gyoza – first, this was probably named after the first guy to survive tasting this spicy dish, who exclaimed: “gyoza that’s hot!”  Second, the picture looks like it might be alien bug eggs.
  • Angus Beef – I think we have a winner!!!

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I bet he eats the Angus Beef every day he’s there.

3 thoughts on “Sometimes You Shouldn’t Translate the Menu

  1. I love this- it’s interesting how our preconceptions can influence what we do or eat. Like the cliche about people liking black pudding until they know what it is. 😉

    • So true! What people in one place don’t think twice about, we come in as outsiders and are completely put off.

  2. This is really funny! I remember we went to a vegan restaurant in Vietnam that had hilarious translations. One of the favourite dishes was “fried bumps”.

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