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Marianne + Jean-Pierre Duboux

The authors, Marianne and Jean-Pierre Duboux, run an editorial office (proofreading service) in Thun, Switzerland.
In revising menus, cookbooks etc., they ran into difficulties: there was no definitive reference work that they could turn to. The "gastronomic" authors of the menus and cookbooks had used language as a vehicle for passing on their knowledge, but without paying too much attention to their specialist terminology.
This prompted Marianne and Jean-Pierre Duboux to start compiling such specialist terminology. They attached great importance to correct spellings – based on currently valid orthographic rules and grammar – as well as to finding the right translation or equivalent in other languages.
It is not always easy to find terms in other languages. For example, when animals are slaughtered, they are not cut up in the same way in all countries, with the result that the terms for the cuts of meat do not always overlap: they may be only partially or not at all translatable. The different types of fish and seafood give rise to further problems: often their names vary from village to village as you move down the coast.

If they had had the time, the authors could by now have written a weighty tome purely on mistakes and mistranslations, listing who had (wrongly) copied what from whom, and so on.

Some examples:

In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, Torte was somewhere and at some time translated into French with tourte – well, it sounds almost the same ... But tourte was originally a meat pie and not simply a "pie" in the English sense, which can be a sweet or a savoury dish. It would have been sufficient to look in a simple pocket dictionary ...
Restaurants serving Italian cuisine are not always run by Italians, as can routinely be seen from their menus: forester's style should be rendered with alla forestale. But often you find alla forestiera – even though forestiero means foreign, from abroad!

Well known are the "multilingual" menu boards:

A top restaurant in the South of France, wanting to translate its menu into German, had by all accounts used a dictionary, but had in every case chosen precisely the wrong term:

Mousse de saumon froide sur toast (Cold salmon mousse on toast): Kalter Lachsmoos auf Trinkspruch (Cold salmon moss to your good health)

The following examples are from Spain:

Hígado de pato con manzana brasata (Duck liver with braised apple): Duck liver with coaled apple
Salmón ahumado (Smoked salmon): Salmon drunk
Aguacates (Avocados): Pear-shaped
Filete de avestruz (Ostrich fillet): Veal Ostrich
Habitas salteadas con jamón ibérico (Sautéed young broad beans with Iberian ham): Small broad with cured ham
etc. etc.

The authors are continually working on the contents of the dictionaries and CD-ROMs, researching, improving and adding to them. If, nevertheless, you find something that is not in the books or CD-ROMs, please inform the publishers either by fax, +41 (0)33 225 60 66, or by clicking on Feedback, in the latter case typing your comments in the designated box. It is possible that the word or expression you have found has already been incorporated but not yet published. Or it may be included as a result of your suggestion.

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