May 18, 2006

Regale in basilica

A few days, ago, Victor Mair sent in a spectacularly mistranslated blurb from a package of mushrooms and seaweed, full of sentences like "It is the masterwork of the curiosity selected by our professional." One phrase in particular was baffling: "It is always the regale in basilica". Victor tracked down the Chinese original, and contributed this analysis

Well, I went and checked the parallel Chinese text for "It is always the regale in basilica" and this is what I found:


A fairly literal translation of that would be "Throughout history it has been ranked among the royal products [for use in] the imperial palace and the delicacies [to be served at] state banquets."

Now you can get an idea of the brain-crunching that Sinologists have to go through every day.

Posted by Mark Liberman at May 18, 2006 07:19 AM