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  #21  
Old 18.04.2012, 12:57
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

Sometimes it's easier to understand the local language menu

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  #22  
Old 18.04.2012, 13:26
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

As mentioned before, I am pretty much an internationally oriented foodie...

Some tips on getting the best nosh when travelling:
  1. Have an idea about what the local cuisine offers, then even if you do get fobbed off with the minsicule "English" menu, you can turn to the waiter and ask (e.g.) "I hear that marinated dog's noses and raw pickled turnip is a local speciality , it's not on this menu. Do you do it?" Chances are even if you don't get that particular speciality, you'll get something else, interesting, to eat (you also get RESPECT!).
  2. Try NOT to eat out of area. Many countries, like Italy, have very strong, proud and unique regional cuisines. So, for example whilst in Venice you can get Pizza (originally from Naples) or Lasagna Verde (originally from Bologna), it's not going to be more than adequate at best (one of the best fish meals I've had was in a Venetian restaurant which had on its door the sign "we're to old and dumb to learn how to cook pizza or lasagna, but we do know a bit about cooking fish")
  3. Look at in how many languages is the menu posted outside the restaurant?
    • Just the local language - good chance of a decent, if not great meal
    • In the local language and one other - possibly a decent meal awaits (check out how many locals are dining there)
    • In multiple languages - walk on to the next restaurant.
  4. Never be afraid to point and smile (works a treat in hawker stalls in Thailand and Malaysia where I certainly can't read the local language menu).
  5. Eat where the locals eat, especially if it is crowded with a high turnover (when I was in Tunisia, the only time I didn't have a low grade tummy upset was after I had eaten outside the hotel in a local restaurant [we were the only non-Tunisians there])
Nosh on Folks, Nosh On


TD
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Old 18.04.2012, 13:31
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

One of the scariest places I have eaten was a roadside shack in Vietnam - on the road from Dalat to the coast. The place was, at best, basic, at worse a deathtrap.

And yet the food that appeared, endlessly, was amazingly good. Arguably the best squid I have ever had!

All that for less than a few CHF per person - and no trace of a dodgy stomach.
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Old 18.04.2012, 13:36
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

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I realize that we gringos have unsophisticated palates and that all we want are cheeseburgers and pizza, but if you're going to offer an "English menu" is it too much to ask to have it offer the good stuff, too???
Wow so it seems you're having a different problem all together from the one I have noticed, which is that the English translations aren't nearly as "precise" as the original version when describing what's on the menu.

I have not, however, noticed that certain dishes were completely missing from the menu all together.

But... I am always comparing the translations, not just in CH but elsewhere, too. The English translations are usually difficult to read, and I find myself comparing to the other translations and to the original quite often.... much to the detriment of my cohort because it takes me freaking FOREVER to make up my mind.
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Old 18.04.2012, 14:20
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

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hani nimmer es menu im Englisch abgfroegt, it is always magically handed to me. all part of a vast conspiracy to deny us gringos access to those fabled Swiss specialties like sausage, cubed veal, egg noodle and potato pancake.
Could it be the way you dress? Your hair? Cologne? I don't get why someone would get handed an English menu every time, unless there were some telltale sign that Swiss servers commonly recognize as screaming "Ami!"
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  #26  
Old 18.04.2012, 14:25
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

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Could it be the way you dress? Your hair? Cologne? I don't get why someone would get handed an English menu every time, unless there were some telltale sign that Swiss servers commonly recognize as screaming "Ami!"
I'm guessing that that sombrero he is prone to wearing might be a bit of a giveaway

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  #27  
Old 18.04.2012, 14:32
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

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Could it be the way you dress? Your hair? Cologne? I don't get why someone would get handed an English menu every time, unless there were some telltale sign that Swiss servers commonly recognize as screaming "Ami!"
maybe it's the lack of hair gel or cologne? not smelling like a I just finished a cigarette might be tipping them off, too.



for most business meals the conversation they overhear is likely to be English, and with the family my 3 heathen and unruly kids are a dead giveaway.
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Old 18.04.2012, 15:18
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

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maybe it's the lack of hair gel or cologne? not smelling like a I just finished a cigarette might be tipping them off, too.



for most business meals the conversation they overhear is likely to be English, and with the family my 3 heathen and unruly kids are a dead giveaway.
It's the horns and hooves and the faint smell of brimstone.
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  #29  
Old 18.04.2012, 15:27
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

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maybe it's the lack of hair gel or cologne? not smelling like a I just finished a cigarette might be tipping them off, too.



for most business meals the conversation they overhear is likely to be English, and with the family my 3 heathen and unruly kids are a dead giveaway.
Mystery solved!

BTW, not sure about your locality, but where I live, even if the conversation is going in English, by firing off a greeting or request to the staff in dialect (which you also appear capable of), I'm often able to avoid being treated as an English-only customer. (Or maybe they don't even bother having English menus here. )
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  #30  
Old 19.04.2012, 02:39
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

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Well here in Geneva both menus offer the same dishes. Sometimes though the English translation is so bad i understand more the French descriptions
Understandable. But somebody simply ommitting some dishes on the English menue cannot be understood. And somebody forgetting to have the Züri-Gschnetzlets on the English menue in Zürich ought to be persecuted for high treason, get tarred and feathered, and quartered or hanged after this

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maybe you would complain less if you learned German so you didn't need to be given the english menu?

Seriously, where else would you get an English menu, I don't think I was ever offered a German or French menu in the UK or Canada. So that is complaining on a very high level
(and yeah, I am pulling your leg, but if it makes you feel better just groan at me, I can take it..)
True, BUT what use is a menue simply not containing your best stuff ? And again, somebody in a Zürich restaurant ommitting the Züri Gschnetzlets should get drowned in the Limmat

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my complaint was that a place that is going to offer an English menu and foist it upon its gringo diners should at least offer the same stuff as they offer everybody else, not that they had an obligation to offer an English menu. I am perfectly fine with a Swiss German menu (how else would I be able to tell the difference between the menu offerings?), though it's not like translating "schweinbrat mit zweibeln sauce und roesti" is all that hard to translate into English.

You will rarely find a "Swiss German" menue with a few exceptions. "Schweinebraten mit Zwiebelsauce und Rösti" is Standard German, as Swiss German would be "Schwinsbrate mit Zwibelesosse und Röschti"

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Last edited by Wollishofener; 19.04.2012 at 03:07.
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  #31  
Old 19.04.2012, 03:03
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

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maybe it's not smelling like I just finished a cigarette might be tipping them off, too.
Very sorry, but who is smelling or not smelling like just having finished a cigarette ?
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  #32  
Old 19.04.2012, 08:57
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Re: my 2nd non-scientific study - english menus

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You will rarely find a "Swiss German" menue with a few exceptions. "Schweinebraten mit Zwiebelsauce und Rösti" is Standard German, as Swiss German would be "Schwinsbrate mit Zwibelesosse und Röschti"

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no matter what you call it, I am now officially hungry. looks like I know what dinner will be tonite.

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