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Find an Alternative to Reading Chinese Menus
    2007-08-26 16:12:44     CRIENGLISH.com
Recently, a set of standardized English translation for Chinese menus has been unveiled in several municipal governmental websites in Beijing to solicit public opinions.

An article on the Beijing Youth Daily doubts the translations, saying some of them are too literally interpreted and are still difficult for foreigners to understand.

It cited the so-called "four-joy meatballs" as an example. The article says the word "four-joy" doesn't make sense for foreigners while it is simply a kind of Chinese-styled meatball made with pork and eggs. The article also says, some of the translations may even make foreigners lose their appetite when eating, such as the "Pea cake" that is made from peas and sugar.

The paper says many Chinese dishes are named after historical stories or are prepared with unique Chinese cooking method. A direct translation of the dishes would sometimes look silly and obscure. The article proposes that the menus include a detailed picture of the dishes and maybe descriptions of the exact materials used in making them. This way, it would not only simplify the translation process but also give foreign visitors a better idea of what they are actually eating while in China.
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