Sunday, March 06, 2011

Special Ingredients

Found this in the menu of a restaurant in Mukachevo, Ukraine:

I have a few questions:
  1. Bathing? On a pizza?
  2. Do hunters really bathe so often, that it belongs on a pizza that bears their name?
  3. What is this supposed to say?
  4. This was approved? What was approved? By whom? Was the the translation approved, or was the use of "bathing" as a special ingredient approved by the public health department?
In Hungary I always want to read menus in Hungarian, because more often than not, the English translations of the menu are strange, if not incomprehensible.

I don't say this to criticize the people who translate the menus - I know that it can be hard to know how to translate specific dishes - and I also know that most restaurants don't have the money to pay for an expensive professional translation, and so it usually gets done by the owner's nephew who speaks a little English, mostly learned in high school and from watching TV and playing video games.

Every now and then we run across some really funny translations. Our favorite was at one of the nicest restaurants here in Eger, the menu featured "cake with scum on top" (HU: scum = salak, söprödék).
Obviously, what it should have said was "whipped cream", but when the person translating the menu looked up the word "hab" in the Hungarian-English dictionary, there were many options, and he/she guessed that scum would be most appropriate to describe a desert.

Nonetheless, I did not order the Hunting Pizza. Mostly out of fear that it would have scum on it. The pizza I did order was scum-free and quite good.

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