A taste of networking

I am often asked if I get free samples of the products for which I do the translations. I should be very happy if that were the case as the fine chocolate, beautiful jewellery, stylish ski outfits and elegant watches would be very welcome!

Last evening, I attended a networking event in Bath at Demuth's Vegetarian Cookery School. It was such a treat to watch the demonstration and sample the finished results. We were offered Wild garlic and fresh curd cornbread, Gem lettuce parcels filled with Asian mushrooms, broccoli and tofu followed by Roasted rhubarb and blood orange. Everything was extremely zingy, tasty and thoroughly delicious. I think everyone present had their preconceptions of tofu being bland and boring completely challenged.

One of my specialist areas of translation is food and cookery which involves translating menus and recipes as well as websites featuring one particular foodstuff or product. Many people fall into the trap of thinking that this is an easy subject area but it can be as technical as any other area. This is because it is not a case of a word-for word translation (when is it ever?). Some of the dishes can be rather complicated, use ingredients which are not widely available or call for types of cream, for example, that have a different fat content to the types available in this country and do not have a direct translation.  Chefs can be remarkably creative both in their use of ingredients and the way they describe the dishes - all of which adds to the fun of producing an accurate, yet equally delicious-sounding translation.

Rachel Demuth writes a blog which I am looking forward to reading in more detail - and "harvesting" for unusual ingredients and researching their translations. However, I shall pursue this task in bite-sized sessions; the only disadvantage to translating food and cookery is that you feel permanently hungry!

Photo kindly supplied by Rachel Demuth: Wild garlic and fresh curd cornbread



Lisa, thanks for reporting on this event and for the insight into the subject of food and cookery, one of your specialist translation areas.

This reminds me: A friend of ours went to a restaurant (I think in France) where the whole menu had been machine-translated into English and therefore was completely incomprehensible. Disaster!

Thanks for your comment, Elisabeth. I think a lot of us can identify with the badly translated menu syndrome - sometimes they are, as you say, completely incomprehensible and sometimes utterly hilarious (and incomprehensible!) I'll post some photos on this subject soon!

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