Korean Food and lost in Translation - 45

The misspellings on the menus in Italian restaurants in Korea, can also make for some funny translations. Take “pizza ai fanghi” for example, which translates as “mud pizza”; which should have been “pizza ai funghi”, meaning “mushroom pizza”. Koreans of course face the same problem when they travel abroad and many a student complained that the Korean food was not good and the translations were sometimes poor, when they were abroad.

Another quiet funny mistake derived from the confusion between the letters p and f. An Italian restaurant in Seoul, claimed to have a “porno a legna” to cook pizzas in. In Italian a ‘p’ instead of an ‘f’ can make a big difference. They meant to write “forno a legna” which means “wood oven”, instead “porno a legna” means “wood porn”. Maybe they were offering something more than food? In Korean language, there is no difference between the sounds p, b, f and v, so it’s easy to get confused when spelling foreigners worlds containing these sounds.

Can Kimchi cure SARS

A foreigner could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that Kimchi is the answer to the world’s problems. Since the SARS outbreak in Asia and Canada in 2003, numerous students named Kimchi, as being the reason for Koreans avoiding SARS. With Koreans eating Kimchi buy the bucket-load, and with Koreans avoiding the disease, a very high percentage of students often stated and generally felt that the fact that Koreans eat Kimchi and that they did not get SARS are directly connected.

I cannot find out where this idea started but it is widely accepted. To put it into perspective, only 10 countries in the world out of a possible 193 got infected with SARS thus Korea was only 1 of 183 not infected. I am inclined to state that people in the UK perhaps did not get SARS because of the good English beer and that Americans did not get SARS because of their pastrami sandwiches. (A pastrami sandwich, for those of you who have not been to the States, is a highly seasoned smoked cut of beef -

The pastrami is covered with peppers and mustard and is then usually put between two pieces of whole grain bread and is then ready to eat). Kimchi though, certainly does have a lot of garlic in it and garlic is reportedly very good for the immune system and in this popular use of garlic, it is similar to Italian food. It is different also though, in that Koreans seem to love raw garlic whilst enjoying Kalbi for example, whilst Italians tend to cook the garlic with the food.

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