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AsianEU - The Best Choice - Easy, Convenient and Friendly _ Hong Kong Local News _ Lost in translation: Thanks, but no thanks for the menu

Posted by: R.E.D Jan 11 2017, 04:32 AM

Source: ejinsight

How considerate of this tea restaurant or cha chaan teng in the New Territories to include an English-language menu for non-Chinese customers. The problem, however, is that the English translations are no more intelligible than the original Chinese characters, reports. Someone took snapshots of the menu and uploaded them onto a Facebook page, fueling a lot of discussion among netizens.

The menu is bewildering as it is hilarious, featuring such dishes as “Leg treatment”, “Cream more” and “Rape in the New Territories”. The news website consulted Uncle Siu, a popular English guru on the internet, and asked him what would be a better way of describing the local dishes. Uncle Siu suggested that instead of “Leg treatment”, “Ham and egg sandwich” would be more comprehensible, while “Cream more” would probably get more orders if it were translated as “Toast with butter and condensed milk”.

Other eyebrow-raising dishes are not as outlandish as they sound: “Wash the face” is actually “Plain noodles” while “Refreshing cuttlefish face” should be “Noodles with cuttlefish balls”. Apparently, the translator came up with the funny English terms by using the Cantonese pronunciation as the basis of translation. In Cantonese, “noodles” sounds the same as “face”, and this is probably the reason why the word is often seen on the menu.

One netizen commented that the poor translation reflects badly on Hong Kong as an international city. Another reader said the English names were probably meant as a prank, while still another said the restaurant owner probably used Google Translate for the translations.

Suggestion: Instead of using those baffling English terms, why not just put photos of the dishes on the menu?

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