eggar stole a chicken and was pursued by the owner. He covered the chicken all over with clay which he found nearby and threw it into the fire to cook it. After a long while he removed the mud-coated chicken from the fire. When he cracked the clay he found, to his astonishment, that the chicken had been baked into a delicious dish with wonderful flavor. That night he had a very enjoyable meal. And this is the origin of the dish name. When we face some dishes which cannot straightforward translated, we should conceptualize it.

And that is related to meaning translation rules. The method of translation needs rich knowledge of Chinese culture, so we should accumulate little by little. It is never too late to learn. One climbing the ladder must begin the bottom.

4.3. According to Local Characteristic

Chinese cuisines are variety (Hu, 1999) , like Sichuan cuisine, Shandong cuisine and Guangdong cuisine etc. So a lot of dishes emerge heavily local characteristics. For instance, Hunan beef “湖南牛肉”, when translating these dishes, we choose the transliteration rules.

Here the translation method according to local characteristics is introduced. Some dishes are somewhere around, and particularly unique famous English translation of the original names. Even if it has no name, name is also added. Such as “叉烧”, a Cantonese dish of pork, is a roast meat marinated in spices, unique to Guangdong. If it is translated into general barbecue, translation is not the recipe. Therefore, pork can be translated as Roast iced fillet of pork, Guangdong Style. It reviews delta fried wild geese, translated as Chaozhou roast goose or roast goose “潮州烧鹅”.

The translation of dish name should pay attention to preserve local culture, reflect local characteristics and flavor cooking skills. There are three methods of translation. The first is the literal translation method names of raw materials. Such as: Guangdong sausage “广东香肠”. The second is the name reflecting the local flavor. Such as: Beef Cooked with Soy Sauce beef in brown sauce, Beijing Style “京酱牛肉”. The third is the name of raw materials for the local specialty, their translations for: cooking method + name + materials. Such as: Steamed Nanjing Duck “南京板鸭”.

However, there are some factors preventing the translation of dish names (Duo, 2005) . For instance, the ingredients of dishes are very extensive; the art of cuisine is very complicated and stresses Chinese people’s pursuit of elegance in naming the cuisine. All of those may lead the translation disarray. So in most cases, it is not appropriate to merely use one of translate methods to translate dish names, so the better method is to combine other methods. For example, if dish names are related to legends with metaphorical meanings or with auspicious implication (Newmark, 2001) , it is suitable to use meaning translation plus transliteration.

5. Conclusion

From the differences on western and Chinese food: the raw material, cooking method, table manner and concept on food, more about the factors which result in the misunderstanding of dish translation can be learned. Then from the rules of translation of Chinese food, the methods of translation are concluded. There are almost three kinds of translation rules that are literal translation, meaning translation and transliteration. Here the methods of translation of Chinese food, according to cooking method, allusion and local characteristic, are just small part of translation ones. These can be used in all kinds of translation, especially in food dish translation. The methods of translation can be concluded. And it still has space to perfect the methods.

It is natural that the translation methods and skills would change, too. We all know that translation cannot live without the understanding of culture, so does the food dish translation. The translation of Chinese dishes is stepped into a regular and standard way. The methods from the differences of food can be concluded. The purpose is the more accurate translation of dish names to the west. Another point is the change. With time changing, the culture is changing, so our translation methods need to be changeable. So the translation road is very long. Eventually, our aim would be to achieve the better communication and greater development.

Cite this paper
Yang, X. (2017) Study on Translation of Chinese Food Dishes. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 7, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2017.71001.
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