Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >
Proofreading a cooking book: can you rely on your linguistic abilities or do you have to be a cook?
Thread poster: foghorn

foghorn
English to Turkish
+ ...
May 13, 2009

Petite problem: proofreading a cooking book full of creative recipes.

Can you rely on your linguistic abilities or do you think you have to be a cook?

This is interesting and can be generalized to other areas of specialty but unlike many others (like mechanical engineering) you can put into practice what you've just translated.
The question is would you? (personally i’m not sure!)

ideas?



[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-05-13 13:14 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:36
English to Russian
+ ...
I would suggest.. May 13, 2009

.. first proofread it as a linguist and then have a professional chef for the expert editing. This will probably be good for any specific field, not only cooking.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 12:36
English to Croatian
+ ...
... May 13, 2009

sokolniki wrote:

.. first proofread it as a linguist and then have a professional chef for the expert editing. This will probably be good for any specific field, not only cooking.


Excellent point.

The final revision should ideally be done by a professional chef.

One problem in culinary translation may occur with converting all measures:UK/US vs European ( ounces, pounds vs. kg, mg ). Must be careful with it. In high-pro culinary world, it may be highly relevant.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
a bit of exp won't harm May 13, 2009

Hello foghorn.

As usually one would rather have at least the slightest idea of the subject. First, AFAIK Englishmen prefer using Present Simple (=Indefinite) Tense in such cases. Second, mind correct ingredient labeling and proper system of units. And, indeed, give your translation to a good cook. Such a yummy topic

Cheers

P.S. As far as it's a quite new field for you - so make TM!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
liz askew  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:36
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Yes. you need to have knowledge of the subject to proofread a text May 13, 2009

Yes, in short

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 04:36
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Agree with Liz May 14, 2009

I think you need to have knowledge of the subject or else there could be serious mistakes or inconsistencies that you wouldn't notice. By proofing it purely as a linguist you could in fact be creating errors of your own without being aware of it. By the way, it is called a cook book, not a cooking book.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

chica nueva
Local time: 00:36
Chinese to English
'communication' is number one May 14, 2009

I agree with James Xia's approach. Perhaps you need to be able to 'play the part' (of a cooking expert, the writer, communicating with another foreign cook, the reader). IMO this may require you to read, in the source and target languages, and it may require you to put yourself in the end-reader's position also, to help them understand.

So, IMO you may need to include translator notes and/or a glossary. Are you working with a publisher? Perhaps they can advise on this aspect.

http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_theory_and_practice/129499-contracted_forms_in_translation_of_transcription.html#1116086


[Edited at 2009-05-14 08:56 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:36
Member
English to Turkish
Neither May 14, 2009

You can neither rely on your linguistic abilities alone, nor should you be a cook. As far as I understand the task involves more than proofreading, which in turn I understand as checking/correcting/improving spelling and grammar. If the task involved is finalizing the text for publication, you should act as an editor: make sure that the text is linguistically impeccable, sounds as if written by a cook, and be able to address the lay reader who doesn't have be a cook but is going to cook with a look at your book

To this end, you will probably have to collaborate with a cook, but use the cook as a consultant with his field expertise, not as an editor. Field experts who are handed over texts for editing tend to spoil them. Since they are not language professionals, they may not understand the task and your expectations, and may tend to interfere with the linguistics aspects of the text rather than the terminology or "how this or that idea is supposed to be expressed in that field," if you know what I mean. If the book is specific to the cuisine of a certain culture, the cook may also be helpful in understanding functions and equivalents of tools, spices, techniques, sauces, etc. (equivalent to the cooking culture of your target readership).

You will also need to use similar cook books and loads of online and offline terminology resources as reference. And if you are asking this because of an actual work, also assuming that your task is into Turkish, you may want to search the Turkish forum: in an old thread dedicated to online resources, there's a bunch of glossaries on this subject.

Good luck and happy editing


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Martin Feuk
Local time: 12:36
English to Swedish
Linguistic skills are not enough May 14, 2009

There are many things apart from the most obvious, like measures etc, that need to be changed in a cook book. One example is that protein content of flour can vary very hugely between countries and needs to be specified, another example is that the percentage of fat in dairy products (like cream) can vary quite a lot. A chef would know these things and could adapt the recipes accordingly, something a "pure linguist" would never be able to do.

Good luck!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:36
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
It certainly helps... May 14, 2009

It depends how much you trust the translator.

I study cooking and nutrition, and have in fact just been working on a cookery book (as I call it).
Several times I had to call the author, and my German colleague, who always seemed to be several chapters ahead of me, passed on details of several other things they had discussed.

We made some changes that certainly were not purely linguistic. (And we did inform the proofreaders!)

Apart from a couple of actual mistakes in quantities, the text was fairly clear in Danish - for Danes - but cookery is so much part of the national culture, that basic ingredients in one country may be surprisingly hard to obtain or non-existent across the national border. They may appear in combinations that the target nation find quite surprising, too. Even in closely related cultures like Danish, English and German, we had some interesting discussions.

I have always read cookery books for fun as well as to find ideas for daily meals. I was brought up in India, so I find it natural to use spices like ginger and cinnamon in meat dishes in what is simply called 'curry' in this neck of the woods...
I remember my grandmother was quite sure she would hate it, and she did not like the smell.
It was not always a good idea to discuss that kind of thing with my Danish mother in law either, although she was quite adventurous with some kinds of cooking, and would happily eat my creations!

The highly specialised vocabulary is ticklish too.
The terms for seasoning, herbs and spices in Danish and English are not easily explained in purely linguistic terms.
Roasting, baking and frying are not things you can look up in a dictionary either. In English it makes a difference whether the process goes on in the oven or in a pan on top of the stove. It is far less clear in Danish purely linguistically.

There are plenty more examples, and if you begin translating between less closely related cultures than those in Northern Europe, you really need to know what you are doing.

If you are only checking for typos, punctuation and correct oven temperatures etc., but not making essential changes, you could perhaps proof read a cookery book relying on your linguistic abilities. Otherwise, you do need to have a basic practical knowledge of the subject!



PS I've just seen Özden's comments - she's absolutely right!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

foghorn
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... May 14, 2009

Christine Andersen wrote:

Roasting, baking and frying are not things you can look up in a dictionary either. In English it makes a difference whether the process goes on in the oven or in a pan on top of the stove.


Thank you Christine. i think this was the point i was tying to make.
And thank you Özden & Sokolniki for your valuable suggestions.

In the meanwhile the original text is in French & there is already an English translation. i thought i was proofreading since i had to crosscheck with the English version.

foghorn


Direct link Reply with quote
 

N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:36
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Relying on abilities May 14, 2009

Having translated a cookbook already, I can firmly say: No, you can't rely on your linguistic abilities alone; you do have to know what they're talking about.

Recipes are a particular language that try to be clear and often aren't.
Often, when I've tried following recipes just in English, I can get lost...
steps are omitted, ingredients are forgotten, and some steps were just assumed.
Not to mention some using a cooking vocabulary you might not know, depending on your formal training. (Sorry, not all of us know the exact steps to flambé something, though we all know it requires fire!)
Also, you need to know if some ingredients are not easily found in the target public (and possibly include a translators note to the writer) or propose an explanation of what it is, if it's referred to under another name....try finding a good French translation understood everywhere for Brown sugar; nope it's not Cassonade!

So, like Christine and Ozden said, there are too many variables to translate it without some knowledge, otherwise proofreading could be ok...just don't translate Bain-Marie!






[Edited at 2009-05-14 11:02 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

chica nueva
Local time: 00:36
Chinese to English
names of meat cuts, methods of cooking; how to handle it? this text wasn't easy ... May 15, 2009

Özden Arıkan wrote:

You can neither rely on your linguistic abilities alone, nor should you be a cook. As far as I understand the task involves more than proofreading, which in turn I understand as checking/correcting/improving spelling and grammar. If the task involved is finalizing the text for publication, you should act as an editor: make sure that the text is linguistically impeccable, sounds as if written by a cook, and be able to address the lay reader who doesn't have be a cook but is going to cook with a look at your book
...
You will also need to use similar cook books and loads of online and offline terminology resources as reference. And if you are asking this because of an actual work, also assuming that your task is into Turkish, you may want to search the Turkish forum: in an old thread dedicated to online resources, there's a bunch of glossaries on this subject.

Good luck and happy editing


I like what Özden has said. BTW which direction are you translating, and what is the intended readership?

I have translated parts of a cookery book/cooking guide; not a 'popular' one, but one for serious cooks and chefs. I am no cook, neither do I know a lot about Chinese cooking ... I translated the section on 'meat cuts' for readership in the 'meat trade' (so it wasn't for publication as such, more of a 'cross-cultural' exercise). Here is an example of what I ended up with:

[ There were a lot of idiomatic terms, which I hoped my readers could follow, more or less, or which might be useful in discussion with Chinese counterparts. It wasn't checked by anyone else so I don't know how accurate it is. You can see why I mentioned a glossary. http://www.proz.com/forum/translation_theory_and_practice/134981-proofreading_a_cooking_book:_can_you_rely_on_your_linguistic_abilities_or_do_you_have_to_be_a_cook.html#1124470
The chicken cuts were fairly straightforward, but pork cuts, beef cuts, mutton/lamb/goat cuts might be more specific to the cuisine perhaps ... ]

'Cuts of chicken and their uses
1 The back (jibei): That is, the chestnut meat (lizi rou); on either side of the back, there is a piece of meat which is neither tough nor tender. It has no gristle and is suitable for dicing.
2 Leg meat (tui rou): The meat is thick but quite tough. It is suitable for dicing and cutting into pieces.
3 Chicken breast (jipu) and tenderloin meat (lijirou) (also called wicker meat liutiao rou): The breast meat is very tender, suitable for cutting into slices and slivers, and dicing. The tenderloin is the most tender meat on the chicken. It is suitable for cutting into slices, slivers and zhanrong (making into floss?).
4 Wings (chibang): the wings are not usually suitable for providing meat. They can be braised (hongshao), stewed (luzhi), or made into soup (duntang).
5 Chicken's feet (jizhua): They can be made into sauce and boiled for soup (lujiang zhutang).
6 Chicken's head (jitou): Can be boiled into soup (zhutang)
7 Chicken neck (jijing): Can be made into sauce (lujiang), boiled into soup (zhutang) or the meat can be removed and used (churou).'
(Translated from Shi Yin Xiang ed., Choice Selection of Hunan Cuisine (Xiangcai Jijing), Hunan Science and Technology Publishing House, Changsha, 1982)

[Edited at 2009-05-15 01:34 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

foghorn
English to Turkish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... May 15, 2009

lai an wrote:
Here is an example of what I ended up with: 'Cuts of chicken and their uses

-05-15 01:34 GMT]


Looks nice enough. Having certainly more experience do you think a great chef’s recipe of canard laqué would work as good as the Chinese original (for the uninitiated)?


[Edited at 2009-05-15 13:54 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

chica nueva
Local time: 00:36
Chinese to English
a Chinese regional cuisine; a famous dish: Lanzhou roast piglet May 16, 2009

Hello foghorn

Unfortunately I didn't translate any recipes as such, but Chinese recipes often have fanciful names ...

A Here is an outline of the book, if you are interested. Hu'nanese cuisine (Xiangcai) is one of the famous cuisines of China. It is a little spicy, like Sichuanese cuisine.

B Re: 'canard laqué', I've heard of 'coq au vin'... actually I forgot, I have translated 'recipes', for famous local dishes and snacks from a tourist guide. Some of the dishes are 'works of art' ... the descriptions are really, really lovely, IMO. It's difficult to know which ones to share ...

Lesley

A Table of Contents

Recipes from Hunan Cuisine:
Cold dishes, Pork, Beef and mutton, Chicken, Duck, Goose, Shrimp and crab, Fish, Delicacies from the mountains and sea, Hot-pots and soups, Game, Bean-curd, Egg dishes, Vegetable dishes, Other dishes, Desserts, Cakes

Basics of Cooking:
Chapter 1 Culinary raw materials
Chapter 2 Initial processing of raw materials
Chapter 3 Use of knives
Chapter 4 Seasonings and condiments
Chapter 5 Cooking - rudimentary knowledge
Chapter 6 Methods of cooking

Translated from Shi Yin Xiang ed., Choice Selection from Hunan Cuisine (Xiangcai Jijing), Hunan Science and Technology Publishing House, Changsha, 1982

B Lanzhou roast suckling pig, Gaosan braised pork seasoned with soy sauce, Inlaid Goldfish with hair plant (chicken), Hundred Flowers whole chicken, sweet and sour carp, hot candied potatoes, deep-fried sheep's tail (fried cake), mabaozi beef noodles, Gaodan niangpi, Jiangshui noodles, Yuebinlou Restaurant, Jingyanglou Restaurant (Translated from: 'Famous dishes and local delicacies' in Duan Deyi, Qi Baoling, Li Yingrui eds., Gansu Tourist Guide, 1982, China Tourism Publishing House, Beijing)

Sample: here is 'Lanzhou roast suckling pig'. Let me know if you would like more ... :

Lanzhou Roast Piglet

This is a famous local dish enjoyed by both Chinese and foreign customers. For this meat dish, take a roughly forty-day-old piglet approximately 8 or 9 jin in weight, get rid of the bristles and scrape and wash clean, remove the innards, put onto a spit, and roast directly over a charcoal fire. Then, cut the skin into one and a half cun long six fen wide long-cubes, put into a dish and serve, accompanied with spring pancakes, 'hinge' pancakes, and sesame pancakes as staple food. Then arrange the head, brains, trotters, tail and bones in a natural piglet's shape on a dish, sprinkle with a little chilli oil, and serve.

The roast piglet is golden yellow in colour suffused with red, crisp outside and tender inside, fat but not greasy, the flavour delicious and different. It is said that Lanzhou roast piglet has a more than one-hundred-year history. At first only the Lanzhou Minshengyuan restaurant dealt in it, but now all of Lanzhou's large hotels and restaurants without exception have this famous dish.

[ Becoming 'literate' (?) in Chinese cuisine:
'long-cubes'!: there must be a better word for this, 'strips', 'segments', 'lengths', 'fingers' ...
'as the staple': well, the main carbohydrate (rice, bread, noodles, etc) is 'the staple', in the Chinese meal ... ]

dear foghorn, if your religion forbids pork, and this is disagreeable for you, then I shall change it ...

[Edited at 2009-05-16 08:43 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2 3] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Proofreading a cooking book: can you rely on your linguistic abilities or do you have to be a cook?

Advanced search







Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search