Via Carlos Ferrero Martín and @ucedaman, another great menu, featuring ears to the iron, sepia to the iron with ali smelt, almejas to the sailor, tape of lomo…
“Ali smelt” is original and perhaps a calculated insult to one or all Shias, but “a la” as “to the” has tested the imagination, though not always the palate, of a great number of gourmets. Michael McCullough, for example, sounds like he didn’t order fillet of fish to the male, whatever it is, although if he was with company he may have tried itched of seafood. And Norman Kliman recounts that four years ago a bar near Jerez station was offering clams to the sailor’s blouse, I hit to the plate and breast of chicken to the plate, as well as those much-loved Andalusian delicacies tidy spawns, cured of La Mancha cheese, wing nut with cured cheese, shock doughnut and 1/2 share of cold or warm lid.
However, culinary misapprehensions are not always the translator’s fault. Free ThinkerNY follows up the story of the super-spicy “Devil’s Sausage“, made wearing safety gloves and googles by butchers Jason and Garry Rendall in Stirling, and not on sale to young children or people with a heart condition, with a tale of when a translation customer thought he knew best:
Many years ago, I and 3 big, tough Soviet sailors and one other American (translator) crammed into a booth. On the dinner table were some condiments including a bottle of jalepeno sauce. One man in the middle of our group asked what was in the bottle. The translator explained it was hot sauce. The sailor bragged that he loved hot sauce and could drink it straight. The translator warned him not to as the sailor opened the bottle and tipped back his head. Shock registered on the sailor’s face – he looked wildly at those of us seated around him – he wanted to run from the booth but we were blocking him in. The translator grabbed a bottle of honey from the condiments and handed it to the sailor. The suffering man, still wild eyed, looked incredulously at the litte plastic bear he had just been handed (they don’t sell honey in plastic bears in the Soviet Union so for a moment he thought he had been handed a toy). As soon as he heard the translator say ‘it’s honey’ he forcibly tore the entire head off the plastic bear (bottle) and tipped his head back, gulping honey as fast as he could as we scrambled to get him something to drink. Ah…good times….good times….
- Last of the dry-arsed Mexicans
I recently read Edmund Morris’ great biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and someone suggested that for some continuity as well as change I segue into the collected works of Zane Grey. Grey is the great romancier of the American West, and his theme – the forging of the American Nation – is that of Roosevelt: birth is
- The debasement of the European mind
A populist US senator meets an Italian organ-grinder in Rome in 1859.
- En pelota
Stark naked, or wearing a curious garment?
- Buy your knives from Quttin, with thoughts on final /g/s and a poem by Ambrose Bierce
The latest pseudo-anglicism to cheer my bedraggled brain comes from a 20-year-old Albacete knife manufacturer. (See also camping, parking, lifting, shampooing, footing, and Wikipedia.) I like the dropped /g/, which interestingly goes against a trend in Andaluz and increasingly in other versions of Spanish to add a terminal /g/ to words previously ending in /n/. …