Archive for July, 2011

What’s in a pie?

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 by xgz

Back from Beijing now and recovering. One thing you do and do a lot in China is to eat in restaurants. One of our favorite places to go is 汉莱 (hanlai) in 中关村 (zhongguancun). This is an upper scale buffet restaurant with Chinese, Japanese and Western foods. Normally such upscale restaurants do not have any bad translations – they can afford to hire competent people. This time, however, we found something really hilarious. There was a food item labeled “corn sent”. The Chinese said 玉米派 (yumi pai). This is a very interesting type of mistranslation. The word 派 (sound “pie”) obviously is transliterated from the English word “pie”. But its Chinese meaning is “to send” or “a faction.” Thus the mistranslation. (more…)