Posted By P & L Blog

The New York Times recently printed an article on the Chinese government's suggested menu translations for Olympics visitors (  Many poetic names have been re-christened with more prosaic monikers: "ants climbing up a tree" is now "sautéed vermicelli with spicy minced pork" and "happy family" is now "assorted stewed delicacies".

Translating menus can be a tricky task.  In honor of the Fourth of July, consider the following dishes that many Americans will be enjoying over the long holiday weekend. 


I started thinking about how I would translate these into Spanish and decided to run them through a free online translator for fun.  After the Spanish translations came up, I took them and had them translated back into English.  The results are not only bad, some of them are downright nonsensical.

So, take pity on the translator who has to make sense of menu items like these.  And, make sure you have plenty of warm canines on hand for your friends and family this weekend.


  • "Eggs sunny side up" became "eggs the side sunned for above"
  • "hot dogs" turned into "hot small dogs"
  • "s'mores" are now "s'uses"
  • "shoo fly pie" becamse "shoo the pasty of the fly"
  • "ice cream with jimmies" is now "frozen with the small bars"

Happy Fourth!

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