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No more "chicken without sex life" at Beijing restaurants

(Xinhua)

08:35, March 14, 2012

BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Eating at a Beijing restaurant is usually an adventure for foreigners, and particularly when they get the chance to order "chicken without sex life" or "red burned lion head."

Sometimes excited but mostly confused, embarrassed or even terrified, many foreigners have long complained about mistranslations of Chinese dishes. And their complaints are often valid, certainly regarding "chicken without sex life" as it's really just tender young chicken, and "red burned lion head" is braised pork ball in brown sauce.

But such an experience at Beijing's restaurants will apparently soon be history.

Foreign visitors will no longer, hopefully, be confused by oddly worded restaurant menus in the capital if the municipal government's plan to correctly translate 3,000 Chinese dishes is a success and the translations are generally adopted.

The municipal office of foreign affairs has published a book to recommend English translations of Chinese dishes, which aims to help restaurants avoid bizarre translations.

It's the city's latest effort to bridge the culture gap for foreign travellers in China.

The municipal government published a similar list of translations before the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, and recommended it to starred hotels across the capital.

"The latest book is an updated version of the 2008 pamphlet. It provides the names of main dishes of famous Chinese cuisines in plain English," an official with the city's Foreign Affairs Office said.

"Restaurants are encouraged to use the proposed translations, but it will not be compulsory," the official said.

Confusing and sometimes ridiculous translations on the country's menus provoke the mirth of foreigners, and even cause misunderstanding on China's dietary habits.

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PD User at 2012-03-1494.195.123.*
Lovely cock-up. An extremely funny and highly entertaining article. PD does have a real good sense of humour!
  

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