Translation à la carte

IMG_0821Some of my most memorable meals have been in French restaurants. So have some of the funniest translations.

Lamb balls on a skewer? Poor little fellow. That’s got to be a ‘boulette.’ Boulette de viande (literally: a meat ball) as well as a boulette, which also means a blunder.

With the advent of tools like Google translate, even the smallest Mom-and-Pop establishment is able to offer an English menu for non-French speakers. But I’m not sure some of these translations would inspire many guests to order them.

‘Saucisson sec à l’ancienne.’ Old dry sausage. Yummy. Or even better: ‘Saucisson sec en croute.’ Old dry sausage in a crust.

‘Chevre chaud avec sa salade aux noix.’ Hot goat’s cheese with his nuts’ salad. I kid you not.

‘Carottes rapées au citron.’ Lemon raped carrots. Now hold on just a minute. Who’s accusing who?

And would you be up to trying some of these Lebanese specialities?

Singed chicken wings. Mashed of mean pea trimmed with hacked meat. Cheese fresh makes from curdled milk.

‘Mi-cuit’ is a trendy way of preparing sushi-grade tuna and salmon. But it’s a bugger to translate. ‘Half-cooked’ doesn’t sound like anything I’d want to eat. Partially cooked? Maybe. Seared would perhaps be more appealing. But singed? Non merci.

I was recently at one restaurant that implored me to ‘enjoy a night to remember in our privates dining room.’ Hmmm. Maybe that’s where they serve the lamb balls? Or perhaps his nuts’ salad?

Bottom line: if you’re dining out in a French restaurant and want to be sure of what you’re ordering, you may wish to get an app for that. Or invite a French speaker along to help with interpreting.

Seen any funny menu translations lately? Please share!