Monday, November 08, 2010

Cookbooks and a Give-Away

CSN Stores is offering a £50 gift voucher give-away to one lucky reader of Brave New Words. At CSN, you can find everything from cookware items to chest of drawers to lighting.

How does this relate to translation? Well, readers of Brave New Words might remember a post from over a year ago, where I wrote about translating cookbooks. One of the challenges I mentioned in that post was knowing what tools and implements are available in various countries and what the names of said items might be.

For a cookbook I was translating recently, I struggled with a couple of very specific cookware items. I knew what the items were in Swedish but I wasn’t sure if they necessarily existed in English. One way of approaching this, especially if you don’t even know what the original item looks like, is by using Google images, and then studying sites that sell cookware, such as CSN. These sites are also a great resource for reminding yourself what different items might be called (that’s particularly handy for those of us who work with both US and UK English, because the UK and the US don’t always use the same terminology), or they can give you inspiration for products you could use in recipes should the original product not be available.

In order to win this generous gift voucher, leave a comment on this post. Mention your favorite tip for translating cookbooks/recipes or your favorite food-related resource. Do this by 15 November and then a winner will be chosen randomly to receive the gift voucher.


Domestic Diva said...

My favorite food-related resource is my local farmer's market. Good food, and great food ideas.

Anonymous said...

What a great way to collect and exchange translators tricks of the trade.

I'm a translator and a subtitler of Swedish, but I think my tip is valid for any language combination.

When translating cooking shows, I often need to find the names of veggies and herbs very typical to a specific country or region, but not typical at all in Sweden! What I do, to ensure that I look up the right plant, is to always go via the scientific Latin name when establishing the corresponding name in Swedish. Of course, if you know the name already, or can find it in your dictionary, you might not need to do this.

Once I learn the Latin name, it's easy to find the Swedish translation. Whether you prefer to consult an online database (for Swedish, see Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas) or a good old flora, it's up to you. Important, however, is to check that it's the proper word to use in a cookery context.

The advantage of this procedure is, and this might differ from one language to another, when there's no recognised name for a fruit, plant, herb etc in Swedish, I can always use the reliable scientific name. In Swedish, unlike English, it's not very common to use the scientific term, unless you're a botanist, a doctor or any other specialist.

Oh, and this method works with fish as well. But I wouldn't try it with meat:)

I really like your blog!

meeyeehere said...

I wish I had a better way to translate because I have a very old cookbook written in french from the 1800's.I could use some help with some of the translation

Masood said...

My favorite, food-related resource is an extensive cookbook in 985 pages in two volumes in Persian, called, Mostatab-e Ashpazi (مستطابآشپزي [English Translation of Title from Persian: Cooking Esquire]). It is by Najaf Najaf Daryabandari, who recently recovered from a heart problem. He is in his early nineties and is of the most popular literary translators in Iran. This recipe book is one of his few authored books, and his publications are mostly translations of classic English novels, and translations of philosophical works (e.g. A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell). Such a superb cookbook from such a person, a serious literary translator, is highly unlikely. He says that his book is the result of his wife’s and his experiments in the kitchen. The book was reprinted over several times since the first publication.

louisa said...

My favorite resource is Wikipedia -- I look up whatever term I need to translate in that language and then switch to the English Wikipedia version using the sidebar on the left. There are usually pictures on each language's site so I can be sure they refer to the same thing. Wikipedia has almost everything -- it's great for more than just food!

S.A. said...

In the past, I've already resorted to my mum's help. She's a professional cook and knows her stuff. She's got loads of (French) cookbooks which have always proven to be useful. When it comes to cooking (I love experimenting!), I often go to Supertoinette's website. It defines many specific terms and offers countless step-by-step recipes!

Tiffany Christie said...

I use google translator. When it comes to finding recipes, I like the actual cookbooks instead of finding the recipe online ....Tiffypoot @ (