Even food can get Lost in Translation (Avocado vinaigrette)
Before I fell in love with Thermomix, before I started my blog, before I went to college (university), before I even moved to France the first time, I started my love affair with the French language. I was 7 years old, and that year Scituate Public Schools set up an early language learning programme. Three times a week, Mrs Florescu would come into our class and teach us simple phrases in spoken French: “Je me lève;” “Je m’assieds;” “J’ouvre la fenêtre;” “Je fais le tour de ma pupitre;” and so on. We sang little songs in French and learned a few nursery rhymes.
Then in high school, I had Mr. Maynard for French. Jack Maynard was such a Francophile that he legally changed his name to Jean-François Ménard. His love of France and all things French was contagious and when I was 16, he organised the first of many February school vacation trips to France. We visited Paris, Avignon and Marseille, and finished in Nice for the Carnaval.
I was hooked. I went on to major in French at Bryn Mawr College in the USA, spent my Junior Year Abroad with the University of Vermont’s Vermont Overseas Study Program and totally espoused the French language and culture. After my degree I got a summer job through what was then Yale University’s Summer Work Abroad program and basically never left. Except to marry a Frenchman and open a French restaurant in the wilds of Maine. But that’s another blog post 😉
In my professional life, I have been much like a cat with its 9 lives, only I have had about 9 different careers. The one I can always fall back on is translating, and it has served me well over the years. In our globalised world of instant exchange via internet, telephone and video, Translation Services are increasingly required to ensure both language comprehension and cultural understanding.
One of my favourite examples is restaurant menu translation. Have you ever been in a foreign country, looking at the English version of the menu, burst out laughing at some of the fractured translations, and had no idea what you were going to eat? These are my favourites, from French to English:
|French version||Actually seen on a menu||Correct translation|
|Avocat vinaigrette||Lawyer with French dressing||Avocado with French dressing|
|Souris d’agneau||Mouse of lamb||Lamb shank|
|Mousse au chocolat||Chocolate cabin boy||Chocolate mousse|
And so to celebrate proper Translation Services, here’s a quick little recipe for you:
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut avocado in half and remove the stone. Place each half on a small plate.
- In a small bowl or in your Thermomix, whisk oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until combined. Drizzle over avocado halves, garnish as desired, and serve.
Bon appétit !