I’m currently reading Matthew Fort’s book, Eating Up Italy: Voyages on a Vespa, which follows his journey through Italy, from south to north, on a culinary quest for the truth, culture and people behind Italian cuisine, in all its many varieties.
I’m really enjoying the book and the author’s way of writing, but what I want to focus on here is:
- how foreigners describe Italy
- why this is an important factor to consider when translating.
Let’s start with the first point and have a look at how Italy is seen from the outside with the help of Matthew Fort.
In contrast to many who write about Italy, Matthew Fort does not present himself as a great expert of the country, but rather as someone with limited knowledge of the language and the country in spite of his obvious interest in the place. (more…)
Why is it so difficult to translate a menu?
If you’re looking for a truly exotic dish, you need look no further than the many badly-translated menus in English…you’ll find all sorts, from ‘fried fishermen’ to ‘revolting eggs’, from ‘feet with jam’ to ‘fried friendship’ and even ‘saucepans in butter with fried hormones’! Mmmmm….delicious!
Errors in menus which have been translated into English often just make us laugh. But they are no laughing matter for those who work in the restaurant industry -with a badly-written menu you can quickly lose valuable customers! (more…)