Translation Method on Chinese Dish Menu II

One, the translation method beginning with the major ingredient

A, Introduce the major ingredient and the minor ingredient of the dish:

Formula—the major ingredient (shape) + (with) the minor ingredient

Example:

腰果鸡丁chicken cubes with cashew nut

猪肉豆腐pork with beancurd

韭菜炒蛋scrambled egg with Chinese chive

扁豆肉丝 shredded pork with French beans

B, Introduce the major ingredient and the sauce of the dish:

Formula–the major ingredient (shape) + (with,in) sauce

Example:

芥末鸭掌duck webs with mustard sauce

香油鸡chicken in sesame oil

黄酒鱼卷fish rolls with rice wine

Two, the translation method beginning with cooking method

A, Introduce the cooking method and the major ingredient of the dish:

Formula—cooking method + the major ingredient (shape)

Example:

软炸牛排soft-fried beef steak

烤乳猪roast suckling pig

炒虾片Stir-fried shrimp slices

爆牛肚 fried trips

白扣羊肉 boiled mutton

炖猪蹄 stewed pig’s trotters

B, Introduce the cooking method, the major ingredient and the minor ingredient of the dish:

Formula—Cooking method + the major ingredient (shape) + (with) the minor ingredient

Example: 青椒烧鸡条braised chicken fillet with green peppers

C, Introduce the cooking method, the major ingredient and the sauce of the dish:

Formula—Cooking method + the major ingredient (shape) + (with,in) the sauce

Example:

红烧猪扒braised pork chop with brown sauce

鱼香肉丝fried shredded pork with Sweet and sour sauce

清炖家鸡stewed domestic chicken in clean soup

冰糖肘子 stewed pork joint with rock sugar

Third, Translation method beginning with shape and taste

A, Introduce the shape (taste), the major ingredient and the minor ingredient:

Formula–shape (taste) + the major ingredient + (with) the minor ingredient

Example:

芝麻酥鸭crisp duck with sesame

陈皮兔丁diced rabbit with orange peel

时蔬鸡片Sliced chicken with seasonal vegetables

B, Introduce the taste, cooking method and the major ingredient of the dish

Formula—taste + cooking method + the major ingredient

Example:

香酥牛排crisp fried steak

水煮嫩鱼tender stewed fish

香煎鸭块fragrant fried duck

C, Introduce the shape (taste), the major ingredient and the sauce of the dish

Formula: shape (taste) + the major ingredient + (with) the sauce

Example:

茄汁土豆片sliced potato with tomato sauce

椒麻鸡块cutlets chicken with hot pepper

啤酒脆皮虾仁crisp shrimps with beer sauce

Four, translation method beginning with people’s name or place

A, Introduce the founder (cradle) and the major ingredient

Formula: people’s name (name of the place) + the major ingredient

Example:

麻婆豆腐Ma Po beancurd

大娘水饺Aunt boiled dumpling

B, Introduce the founder (cradle), cooking method and the major ingredient

Formula: people’s name (name of the place) + cooking method + the major ingredient

Example:

东坡肉DongPo stewed pork

北京烤鸭Roast Beijing Duck

As we may conclude from the above message that in the process when we convert the Chinese dish menu into English counterparts, we can adopt multiple methods only that we can correctly and thoroughly express the content, the taste, the cooking method etc of the dish. Moreover, each dish can be translated from varied aspect as stated above. For instance, “宫保鸡丁” in Sichuan Cuisine can be translated as follows:

1. sauteed chicken cubes with peanuts

2. Gongbao chicken cubes

3. Diced chicken with chilli and peanuts

It can be seen from the above example that the translation method of Chinese dish is flexible and

variable. It is subject to individual’s preference and specification that which translation method to use. As far as I am concerned, only if we can master the first method which begins with the major ingredient, other methods can be comprehended by analogy. We can get the correct English translation by correspondingly exchanging the listed method.

most Chinese dish are naming based on the major ingredient, the cooking method, the cradle and the shape or color etc. hence, it would be understandable if we translate the cooking method and the major ingredient in most cases. Especially, if it is a dish with Chinese characteristics, do not literally translate. It would be fine to translate the the major ingredient and the cooking method of it. For the Chinese classic dish which is world famous, we can translate with Pinyin.

Reference English translation of Chinese dish:

凉瓜炆排骨Bitty Melon Spareribs

京都骨Peking Spareribs

椒盐排骨Pepper Salt Spareribs

凉瓜炒牛肉Bitty Melon Beef

黑椒牛仔骨Black Pepper Short Rib

椒盐牛仔骨Pepper Salt Short Rib

中式牛柳Chinese Style Beef

四川牛肉Szechuan Beef

干扁牛柳丝String Beef

柠檬牛肉Lemon beef

北菇海参煲Mushroom Sea Cucumber Duck Feet

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