Our kitchen is tiny and restaurant meals are comparatively inexpensive and VERY tasty, so we eat out a lot. Fortunately, the menus often have English translations underneath the Hungarian descriptions (or we’re given English language menus), but those translations can be pretty funny (to a native English speaker). Of course, we REALLY appreciate the effort to help us pathetic non-Hungarian speakers, so I don’t mean to mock the thoughtful restauranteurs. If not for the translations, we’d never know what we were eating. But sometimes, even with the translations, we still don’t know what we’re eating!
Here are a few that made us laugh:
"Grilled chicken breast with leafy spinach and oily seeds on a sofa in a delicious garlic sauce." The entree below it comes with "buttery grapes," which isn't so strange really when you consider that people use the words "buttery" and "oaky" to describe their chardonnays. Had a great meal here tonight - it's now one of our favorites.
"Breaded mozzarella with fruitgravy." This is a pretty common menu item - it's fried cheese with blueberry jam served on a bed of rice. Or a "sofa of rice" if you prefer.
"Chicken fillet in seasame coat in saladnest with cheese sauce." I love "saladnest" -- it's really the most accurate way to describe something served on a pile of salad greens.
"Milky drinks" featuring a "Cup of milk."
"Corn with milk" and "Corn with yoghurt." We assume that the "corn" comes served in flake form.
"Liver balls soup." I'm sure it's delicious.
"Rib with pineapple and smoked clod with cheese" and "Pork chop stuffed with horseradish and hand of pork." Do you think they meant "hoof" or "paw?" Can't imagine either - a pork chop stuffed with a pork hoof? May have to order it just to see what's stuffed inside that pork chop. This is also one of our favorite restaurants.
"Crackers." Might mean that the bread is toasted.
From the grocery store: "Pizza-Krem." I think U.S. food companies should embrace the tube as a form of condiment packaging. Mustard and mayonnaise come in toothpaste-type tubes and it works really well.
Okay, it's not technically a menu translation, but it's still kinda funny. Vote for the schmuck!
"Blanky!" It's universal - the blanket with sleeves.
I'm visiting Pécs, Hungary with my wife and son for the Fall 2010 semester. My wife, Margaret McMullan, received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and do research at the University of Pécs. My 13 year old son is attending a semi-bilingual school here called the ANK where I am teaching English Language and Drama to 4th - 8th graders 2 days a week.
Hilarious. I donno how you manage to eat through your tears of laughter. Now I’m off to prepare breakfast for the kids – ‘ O’s of cheeri floating in the littlebucket of cowsmilk’. Love your updates!!
so funny! :)