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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

Cuisine lexicon offers tasty food for thought

By Cheng Yingqi  (China Daily)

09:30, March 15, 2012

When you ask a special someone out, you carefully pick a fancy restaurant, reserve a table near the window and hope for a beautiful night.

Everything works toward a romantic atmosphere, at least until a waiter politely asks: "Do you want to try our 'husband and wife's lung slice'? It's today's special."

"That is one of the most horribly translated Chinese cuisine names. I've heard many of my foreign friends complain about it," said Chen Lin, a professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

"You won't know what's in the dish from the name, and you definitely don't dare to try it."

The dish, fuqi feipian, literally husband and wife's lung slice, is actually sliced beef and ox tongue in chili sauce, a famous cold dish in Sichuan.

Similar translations of Chinese dishes have confused foreign visitors to Beijing for years. But now, the municipal office of foreign affairs is trying to end this by publishing a book on English translations of dishes.

Chen Lin, head of the expert committee that created the book, said it was a new effort to promote Chinese culture.

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