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10 Menu Mistakes that will Crack You Up!

by Katie Sorene

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Ever sniggered at a translation blunder on a sign or instruction manual? Check out these hilarious menu blunders that will make you think twice about what you’re eating…and the benefits of spell-check!

When traveling abroad, I always marvel at the many creative interpretations of the English language.

Though the effort to translate local specialties for tourists is no doubt a smart marketing move, the results might sometimes have the opposite effect…

1. Chocoholics Beware!

chocolate-puke1

Room Service Menu at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, China.

2. A Modest Selection

craps1

Restaurant in Saigon, Vietnam.

3. Made with Love and Effort…

sweat-and-sour-chicken

Chinese flea market in Atlanta, Georgia.

4. Teach Your Poultry a Lesson!

chicken-rude-unreasonable3

Chinese menu.

5. Cannibalism on the Side?

dishes-with-human-pickles1

Chinese menu

6. Vanilla Lovers: a Sacred Desert

god-with-vanilla1

Chinese menu

7. What’s My Dad Been up to?!

fatty-cow-menu1

Menu found in Zhejiang, China

8. A Meal for the Militantly Healthy

health-demolition-tofu

Menu found in Shenzhen, China.

9. The Post-Breakup Dish

dumping1

10. On a Second Thought, I’ll Choose the Merlot..

rosso-spumantelatest

Got more hilarious translation blunders? Post up your comments below, we want a laugh!

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Photos by Engrish.com

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42 comments… read them below or Add a Comment

TravelingDan

Chocolate puke is the best, brilliant!

PauTravels

wow.. this is a great list! nice one!

Nicole

This is hilarious…I agree with TravelingDan, “chocolate puke” may be the biggest blunder on this list.

For more amusing mistakes, check out the NileGuide blog – we wrote a similar post called “Lost in Translation”: http://blog.nileguide.com/2009/03/31/lost-in-translation/

Nora

Love the photos! Although I don’t have a lot of strange menu items, I have my fair share of Asian signs that don’t quite make the cut in English.
Thanks!

Petar

Made with Love and Effort… lol :D :D :D

Bethany

If their English writing is that bad… imagine trying to describe to them what they have on their menus! LOL

Ben

Love them!
Plenty more of ‘em here: http://www.facebook.com/EngrishTwit

William Wallace

I had heard that they eat anything in Vietnam but Crap, that is really crazy lol……

Vishal

Loved the Chocolate Puke!!

Dave

Seen on a menu in Andalucia :-

“Braised Kids with Pee”
“Fried Pollocks with Blood”

I laughed until I cried . . . Manuel thought I had lost it.

IsabellesTravel

This is hilarious!!! I laughed out loud :D Thanks for making this list. Teach your poultry a lesson is my favorite!

Katie

Glad you liked them, everytime I look at this post I laugh out loud!!

bcp

This from the restaurant where I work. Owner asked me to proof New Years Eve menu 10 min prior to opening…Told her I didnt like everything Chef made either but this was a bit harsh..1st appetizer listed….CRAP DIP. Servers arent that great with spelling either..from our hand written specials board…SPIT PEA SOUP….SPLIT PEE SOUP….

Julie

very informative thank you

James Clark

That’s so funny! Don’t ask what human “pickles” are.

Suzi Dow

Years ago, Coke Cola launched a “Coke add life” campaign. In one African country (I want to say Congo but not sure) that slogan was translated in to “Coke rises the dead.”

Erick

On a menu in Budapest
“fried pork cop stuffed with cheese and ham”

Also found on the same menu
“Turkey breast in butt”

Pictures on request.

Katherine

I was in Rome, Italy and had a hard time passing by the eggs.

The menu had the dish: “to mistreat eggs”

Danielle "Miss Journey"

LOL!

Dina

Great laugh!! I think getting a rude chicken is better than a crap, sweat, or puke!

Boban Alempijevic

Dam nearly rolling on the floor for real laughing so hard that I WILl get a haedache :) talk about Crapalicious crap :D Havent laughed this hard for a long time. Thanks for great post :D

Gambolin' Man

Once, back in 1986, on a menu in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, I saw, instead of breakfast, “dreadfast”! On the same menu, for breaded shrimp, it read, “shroempl in bwed cwumbles”!

Jolien

In a bar in Thailand I drank ‘Orange Jews’… No picture though :S
These are all hilarious!

Michela

Good laugh!! the “Chocolate puke” is my fave of the list :)

Secret Photographer

Hysterical. I love the way that words get lost on translation.

Chocolate puke…. gross.

Philippines

The fun of using online translation sites to make a menu!

Imagining sweat and sour chicken just puts me off eating it.. hehe!!

Sarah Samways

I actually…yes, literally LAUGHED OUT LOUD just now. Thank you for posting! :)

Si Salter

My favourite is ‘Fried Rice with Cambodian’ which I had to taste in Battambang, luckily it wasn’t what it said on the tin!

Si Salter
NoMad Rush Travel Podcasts and Adventure Fundraisers

Jodie

This wasn’t a mistranslation as such and I think you had to be there but we went to Spain once and were ushered into a restaurant by a guy who claimed that they made their own potatoes. Obviously, we knew what he meant and his English was much better than my Spanish ever will be but it does go to show how easily meaning can be lost. It’s probably a good idea to enlist the services of a translation company if you want to be sure that you don’t end up with one of these howlers on your documents.

SM

Loved it … especially the puke, that’s a new one! Though, must warn against spell check, as it doesn’t always work as in (I sea a blue see). Case in point:

6. Vanilla Lovers: a Sacred Desert

Should be Dessert, with an extra “s”! Foiled by the spell check villain.

Marion

Hilarious! “Chocolate Puke” is the best! :)))

Charles McCool

Funny stuff. #9 picture kind of looks like a dumping.

Thomas Dembie

Great list! I find errors like that sometimes make the experience feel that much more authentic :).

Shirlene from Idelish

Love it! Cracked me up – just what I needed after a long day at work!

Kathy Gingras

Yes, those Chinese menu translations are a riot! I have been to China twice and have some rare goodies in menus and hair salons. If I can ever find them again, I will send them along!

Jane

Brilliant love it .. I live in Spain and one of the best ones I have seen is: pork itching hair …. and nope i really don´t know what that was.

Richard L

On the room service menu at a nice little Bali hotel:

Craque Monsieur.

(I didn’t order it.)

R Stringer

A take away in Hucknall offered `May Deep` on the menu.

Translation: Mayo dip

ASL

While in a restaurant in Hong Kong, I saw the following sign:

“Ladies! No having babies on dining room tables.”

Cathy MacMillan

Turkish delights? Delicacies seen on various menus in Turkey:
Chicken translation
Swollen hen
Sensitive meatballs
Well-educated shish kebab

Joe

Okay….stable enough to type. Eyes are still teary but it’s all good. It was a great laugh. Thanks .

Loved them all!

Lord Barrington

Go to any Chinese restaurant and you will find things that can’t be printed here. You would think the Chinaman would have an English speaking friend, and ask: Does this look “light” to you?

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