December 06, 2007

Stir-fried Wikipedia, with pimientos or salamander

Pekka Karjalainen sent in a link to this apparent Chinese menu image:

A quick Google search suggests that it is a genuine picture of a genuine menu from a genuine restaurant in Beijing, originally presented back in October on Evolving Web ("Jimmy Wales Grows Them Good and Organic", 10/10/2007).

The author suggests this plausible etiology:

"Hey I'm making the new menu, what's the english name for those flat crispy mushrooms?"

"Um, there isn't one."

"Well what should I put down here?"

"I don't know, look it up in wikipedia."



The comments on that same post will take you to a picture of "barbecued congo eel with wikipedia and Fermented bean curd":

I've heard that wikipedia is only safe to eat in months that contain a 'd' (or is it months that don't contain a 'd'?).

In other Chinese-English translation news, Victor Mair has hinted to me that he'll soon supply a definitive scholarly exegesis of the GAN () phenomenon: watch this space. But I worry that the ingenuity of Chinese menu translators may overwhelm the collective capacity of the international scholarly community.

[Note that you can also get "Wekipedia bread" from Beijing Wekipedia Foods Co., Ltd.]

[Update 12/7/2007 -- Barbara Zimmer's friend Emily suggests: " That would go perfectly with eBay soup. Or maybe moo google gai pan".]

Posted by Mark Liberman at December 6, 2007 01:19 PM