One of the biggest obstacles of traveling in a country where you don’t speak the local language and English is not commonly spoken is ordering food. If you could read maps, you would probably be able to navigate around even if you don’t understand the native language, but if you can’t read the restaurant menu, ordering at meal time would be like playing a round of Russian Roulette.

Some restaurants attempt to make things easier for their patrons by including English translations on their menu, which could be a lifesaver for foreigners. But somebody ought to tell this restaurant’s owner that Google translate isn’t the foolproof method…

To be fair, it actually is quite a challenge to accurately translate food menus because in many cases, the name of the dish might not have an equivalent in the English context. Also, the same food might be called different names in different places, so it gets quite tricky when you’re translating it for international customers. For example, what Americans know as “french fries” are called “chips” in England, and “fried potato” in Japan.

But cultural differences aside, this hilariously translated menu found in one of Beijing’s cultural revolution restaurants probably left their English-speaking customers in a dilemma over whether to laugh or to cry. “Exploded shrimp balls” or “stupid pork”, anyone?

▼ Pork and rice vermicelli stewed with Chinese cabbage

▼ Diced chicken fried with hot pepper

▼ Tortoise stewed with pork

▼ Black jelly skin (usually made by mixing potato flour, water and other ingredients) in gravy

▼ Iron wok braised pig’s head

▼ Iron wok stir-fried spicy squid

▼ Beef, cow innards and wild mushroom herbal stew

▼ Pork, tofu and preserved Chinese cabbage stew

▼ Home-made dried Chinese sausage

▼ Steamed cake stir-fried with pork

▼ Deep fried large shrimp ball

▼ Five-grain rice

▼ Sliced eggplant stir-fried with sauce and minced vegetables

Have you encountered such “interesting” menus on your travels? If you have, be sure to share it with us in the comments section below!

Source: Jandan
Images: Asia Obscura