Lost in translation

28 Feb

Recently we went to karaoke with friends.  I hadn’t gone for a long time and it was great to sing and have fun.  Our package for the evening included a certain amount of credit towards food and so I looked at the menu more closely than I have in a while.  There were the normal things – dumplings, popcorn, lots of different beverages.

Then, on one of the last pages, there were these two dishes.

Really bad translation

Really bad translation

In looking at the two translations, the only obvious problem is that garlic is spelled wrong.  However, if you look at the pictures, something is up.  Now that I know a little more Chinese, it becomes obvious that the translations are just wrong.

The first translation – peanuts with “galis” sauce should be pistachio nuts and the second – “Honeydewed sweet potato” should be cashews.  I have no idea who peer reviewed this menu, but obviously they did not do it very carefully.  Although, honeydewed sweet potato does sound interesting.

A lot of the “chinglish” that I’ve seen in Shanghai has disappeared over the last five years, I really think that the average English level here is excellent.  However, this fun night with friends reminded me that just around the corner, lots of fun examples still exist as long as I keep my eyes open!  The ironic thing is that just before I saw this page of the menu, I was telling my friends that I thought the English song selection at this particular karaoke place was the best I had seen in Shanghai.

Have you seen any strange translations lately?

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