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February 16, 2016 / bikesbytesbites

Adventures in Translation – Machines Fail

OK, I thought this was going to be easy. I was browsing through  Le Monde and I came across what seemed like a wonderful recipe for  stewed winter vegetables.  ( http://www.lemonde.fr/m-gastronomie/video/2016/02/12/astuce-de-chef-cuisiner-des-legumes-d-hiver-a-l-etuvee_4864320_4497540.html)

No problem. I can translate the amounts from kilograms to pounds, and the oven temperature from Centigrade to Fahrenheit.  The problem came with the list of ingredients — one was “radis red-meat”.  What the **)*())( is a red-meat radish? No online translation apps or browser plug-ins would help. Even a culinary French-English dictionary was no help until I found an alternate French expression for the radish — “radis pastèque” – “watermelon radish”.

Google knew about watermelon radishes, they’re of Chinese origin. But the real problem arose: where do I find a watermelon radish? Even Google only showed sales for watermelon radish seeds. Or what’s an acceptable alternative? A daikon (black radish?) It would work, but it’s not as pretty …

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