Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
count_zero

Menu translation project

Recommended Posts

count_zero

There are quite a few restaurants in Beijing which have menus in both English and Chinese. These are gold-dust to me and I read through them while eating my meal trying to learn more about Chinese cuisine, terminology and to branch out from the waiguocai (gongbao jiding, shao qiezi etc)

The idea occured to me that I could type all the dishes up, enter them onto a database on a website and people could leave comments such as corrections (necessary I'm sure) or just their own opinion of the dish 'try this now!' 'don't bother' etc.

Has something like this already been done?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

in_lab

If you had a database of menus, it would be interesting to see the distribution of dishes throughout China. The project could be combined with google earth!

As for ratings, it makes more sense to rate dishes for a particular restaurant, but you could aggregate that information to see whether a dish is generally good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
novemberfog

I don't know of such a project, but I do know that MIT has a rather nice document about Chinese menus. I will try to post it here later.

I think it would be a really good idea for a project, a resource that many students of Chinese can benefit from. Reading a Chinese menu is not an easy task!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
confucius

There are a couple really funny compilations of Chinese restaurant menu translation mistakes making the rounds on the Internet now.

I recently came across one at the movie theater near the Yanshan Hotel in Beijing's Haidian District, where the snack bar's 烤肠 is translated as "Roast The Bowel"

(sh)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
choupi

The Chinese MIT file is great, but if it had the characters, it would be even better. I am so tired of engaging in colloquies with waitresses because of my illiteracy in Chinese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gary Soup

Somehow I missed this thread until now. By chance, I have a thread with a similar name and purpose (but not really going anywhere lately) on my own website:

http://www.eatingchinese.org/phpbb2/viewforum.php?f=25

The discussion includes a link to a site with a wealth of menus in both English and encoded Chinese which can be useful for a starting point in developing a database of Chinese Restaurant dished, with two limitations: the menus are in traditional Chinese, and the dishes are heavily oriented toward Cantonese and Chinese-American food.

Particular thanks to novemeberfog for the MIT document, which I plan to add to my website as a resource.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
heifeng

hmm, I thought of this after reading this post (sorry to leech on, but it's somewhat related I guess...)

are there any good references for fish names??

ie.

English<=> Latin <=> Chinese

the Latin/scientific name isn't really necessary, but it wouldn't hurt...

I'm usually in the dark when it comes to ordering fish...but also knowing fish names for non-eating purposes would be good too =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

Came across this list of dishes from who knows when. It's a cut down takeaway menu from a Dongbei style place, so is by no means comprehensive. Looks a bit weak next to the Wikipedia list, but might be useful. The pinyin was done automatically and hasn't been checked.

food.xls

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
horas

*

I read in a German newspaper that due to the Olympic games 2008 Beijing wants to provide better translations (in English) of (street) signs. Queer translations like 'Deformed man' (disabled people), 'Racist park', 'Show mercy to the slender grass', 'Question authority' would be a relict.

A team of Chinese and English linguists would do the job. Chinese menus would also be newly translated. An official handbook with good translations of about 1000 meals names would be provided.

Q: Does anybody know at which site the menu translations are? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

That looks pretty good. My new favorite dish is "X.O.炒萝卜糕 - Turnip Cake with XO Sauce"

Now, if anyone wants to add pinyin . . .

PS. Hmmm, Tuna Muffin (鲔鱼松饼)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gato

There are still a few inscrutable ones like:

348 龟灵膏 Tortoise-Plastron Cream

Maybe it would make more sense if I've tasted it? Any one know where I can find a 龟灵膏/ Tortoise-Plastron Cream?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mr.stinky

don't ask why i know this one, but a plastron is the flat part/ belly of a tortoise shell.

i believe it's an ingredient in gelatin.

my ex (3x-removed) girlfriend used to buy yoghurt-size containers of black squares of

jello(?). she said it kept the wee tiny hairs from growing on her forearms. i'm pretty

sure it was for eatin' and not for rubbin'.

better stick with the xo sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

Seems to be in food also. Seems like the Chinese aren't too sure what it does either though, judging by the questions that have been asked on Baidu's 知道 service.

龟灵膏吃了会发胖吗?

请问吃龟灵膏能减肥吗?

吃龟灵膏会变黑吗

龟灵膏吃多会长斑吗?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gougou
How To Order Chinese Food Dot Com lists the most important dishes, categorized by type and region. They have characters, pinyin, English and - most importantly - pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...