Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lost in translation

What are the chances of you getting lost in translation? I would say chances are pretty high when you abroad a country where little people speak English, like Thailand or China for instance. I have seen a couple of the mistranslated menu from Mandarin to English, believe me you would have your guys bursting out when you read it.

Sometimes it makes you wonder how did they get such horrific translation? I believe they literally translate the words directly. A simple three word Mandarin can actually mean something else, thus it cannot be translate directly. A couple of days ago, I was playing around the google translator. I saw some Chinese menu, I decided to use the translator and see what comes out of it.

Here are a couple of translation by google translator.

彩蝶京烧羊枝骨( Pan fried lamb rack with honey sauce)
Translation: Beijing sheep butterflies burning sticks of bone

明火高汤斗昌鱼 (Steamed Pomfret with superior sauce)
Translation: Chang fire fighting fish stock

家乡红烧婆仔参 ( Braised sea cucumber with Oyster Sauce)
Translation: Aberdeen home braised po Participation

凤液蟹底粗针翅: Braised shark's fin with crab meat & chicken soup
Translation: Fung at the end of liquid crab fin

脆皮港式吊烧鸡: Fried Crispy Chicken
Translation: Hong Kong-style crispy-skin chicken hanging

什锦时蔬钵飘香: Stir fried vegetables in Yam Basket
Translation: Fragrance when mixed vegetable bowl

Those guys who used google translator, are in serious need of help.

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Anonymous IndependentQueen said...

oh my.. that's explained why...

11:58 PM  
Blogger lionel0008 said...

Google translator is flawed but still it helps when u don't know chinese...I'm bad with words but can understand simple spoken Mandarin...(

10:33 PM  
Blogger Darren said...

idependentQueen: yeah I realize that when I was playing around with the translator

Lionel0008: well can't blame the translator, because it translates directly and it doesn't work that way for Mandarin. I can speak simple Mandarin but written and advance? no way

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Cell said...

Well, Malaysian or Singaporean style English or Mandarin are very funny too...Just listen to our politicians speak, typically they are the best educated and well travelled .

7:16 AM  

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