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11 Incredible (and Disgusting) Translation Errors On Foreign Menus
written by Sam Greenspan

Look, I wish I was above finding translation errors this funny. Yet I sit here and look at, literally, thousands of them... and it brings me the joy of 1,000 happinesses.

I know that these are all due to janky translation software. Which is fine. I'm sure there's a smart ass in China who runs a blog called 11 Daily Affirmations of Our Wise Leaders, and, at some point, he's done a list of 11 Chinese character tattoos that don't mean what the American devil thinks they mean. It's a universal truth that we enjoy seeing our language hopelessly mangled.

I've touched on the glory of translation errors before -- briefly in 11 Ridiculous Signs That Always Make Me Laugh and 11 Very Strange Ways China's Preparing to Host the Olympics... and more extensively in 11 Worst Japanese-To-English Translations In Nintendo History.

For today's list, I wanted to find translation errors that created foods that sound ridiculous, disgusting and ridiculously disgusting. I combed through every poorly-translated menu I could find to find the absolute cream of the crop. Or, as the menus would say, find the vodka thick milk of the Photoshop marquee tool edit menu.
  1. Poached salmon with a lemon/herpes emulsion. Yes, this is a translation error -- but at the same time, if I'm in a foreign country where I'm already on high alert for catching herpes, I'm going to go with the 0.01 percent chance they actually DID drizzle herpes on the salmon and order something else.



  2. Beef brisket in Wikipedia flavor. In other words, they let any person who wants to have a hand in cooking your beef brisket. The result is a flavor you can only sorta count on to taste right, which you eat while they constantly badger you for donations.



  3. The pot, the fish head, the spring chicken, the cuttlefish zhai and the bullfrog. If you did everything the menu told you, you'd join Troy McClure on the list of people banned from the Springfield Aquarium.



  4. Mixed sea food Iraq government office surface. So... mixed sea food served on $16,000-a-square foot Halliburton-brand linoleum tiles?



  5. Steamed Craps. I just see the words "red crap" and "ginger" in the same sentence and smile. I would never order such a soulless dish, but the smile still abides.



  6. The taste does the child sacrificially. This one means one of two things:
    1. This dish tastes so good you'd kill your own child to get it.
    2. It's made from the meat of sacrificed children.
    I honestly don't know which is more far-fetched.



  7. Khrushchev again? If the gourmet orgasm without plastic surgery kills me, do you think they will bury me?



  8. Johnnie Worker: Red Labial. Got to be propaganda, right? Bootleg whiskey that subliminally associates being a "worker red" with "labia"? Regardless, I'd rather order this than Janusson or Jim Ream.



  9. Black mushrooms rape. I started at the six menu choices and, ultimately, decided they could only be appreciated in poem form. (You know, kinda like Oscar Wilde in his time.)
    The temple explodes the chicken cube
    The soil bean burns the beef.
    The water boils the beef,
    Slip away the chicken slice.
    Chicken silk noodles.
    Black mushrooms rape.
    Honestly, you could turn that in to any 7th grade teacher in America and get a B+. Just make sure you can explain how it's all a metaphor for the destruction of the environment.



  10. If you love to eat hormones, try them with alcohol. If the Japanese people stopped eating their hormones and started letting them run wild, perhaps they wouldn't have the least sex and most hidden octopus porn per capita of any country in the world.



  11. Hot dogs and AIDS. Eww. Gross. Seriously, can you imagine how disgusting it would be to go to China and eat a hot dog?



This list was originally published on Monday, February 22, 2010 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Travel.
It currently has View Comments.

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