Saturday, September 15, 2007

Chinese Menus Look to Cut "Pee Soup" and "Crap in the Grass"

Chinese authorities are doing more than building cycling velodromes and sports arenas to prepare for next year's Olympic games. They're getting the grammar police to clean up some of the, um, interesting translations of Chinese foods into English on the menus of restaurants around the country. They've even set up a hotline people can call to translate a confusing menu item into English or, presumably, other languages, according to a report last month by the BBC.

The officials are hoping to avoid embarrassing gaffes by banning such menu items as "pee soup", "five sliced things", "dumpling stuffed with the ovary and digestive glands of a crab," and "crap in the grass."

The latter, a misspelling of carp, is always good for a laugh.

"Among this correspondent's favourites," says an earlier article in The Independent (mentioned on the Web site, "is 'f*ck the certain price of goods' -- far more striking than 'sale now on.'"

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