Monday 14 January 2008

Hungry and bored

I have a confession to make. These days, whenever I am feeling miserable and ravenous at the same time, I rummage through my collection of menus from China for a quick pick-me-up.

Fancy eating a braised ginseng dish called "The American flag cooks the space person" or "The elbow vegetable cooks the wing"? Not only can inanimate objects cook in China, I am beginning to realise that their animals are more industrious too.

Take a look at this: "The thin cow picks three text cures", "The black cow silk fries the idea power" and "The row pig picks the rice".

Of course, you can always pick a restaurant where regular chefs cook for a living, like this one that serves "Living to fry the beef rice". If you're feeling patriotic, you can order "The state fried rice" or the "Bureau country chicken rice". Let me guess... "Napoleon fries the idea power" or "The rich and power people fry" must be the favourite dishes of the rich and famous?

How about a daily dose of "The day type fries the black winter" or "Explodes the vegetable meat to steam"?

Well, Chinese cuisine is famous the world over but the bad translations can render some popular dishes unappetising and downright macabre at times.

While the bad English translation doesn't deter me, I had better refrain from ordering this dish (though it's obvious the shrimps are fresh) as the ingredients may need some privacy : "The Shrimp F--ks the Cabbage!"

If you insist on eating this, in Chinese, it says "fried cabbage with shrimp".


WaterLearner said...

I was laughing away the first time I read about this! In today's Straits Times, there is an article on this as well. Poor translation of dishes into English. Apparently this is one very important step to prepare them for the coming Olympics!

So game for The Temple Exploded the Chicken?

Blur Ting said...

Good morning Water. This post is inspired by the article I read in Straits Times today. Amusing isn't they come up with names like that!

mooiness said...

It's because all these enterprises big and small, and even govt departments rely on el-cheapo translation machines, rather than a real human translator. Plus for some reason, the only translation for the character "kan" is "fuck". They sure love the F-word. :)

WaterLearner said...

I think they just use some online Translator to translate la. So funny.

Anonymous said...

That's actually pretty interesting, Blur. Aside from being ridiculously funny.

Blur Ting said...

Moo - You're so right. Such a shame really... they should at least get someone to vet them first.

Blur Ting said...

Holly - I've seen alot of funnier ones in the past but as usual, it's all a blur now.

Amel said...


I was trying to understand the names, but to no avail, except the last one HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

SOUL said...

do you have a recipe for that last one??

this is sooo great
you know how it is with me and food.
and i am soo easy to please... well, when i'm not bein a B***H.... :))

i gotta link this one ovah in soul- land. too good to miss.

hope you have a good day