ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Tomšić, Darko

nyomtatható változat

Tomšić, Darko (Zagreb)

What has become of the English translation of Gundel's Hungarian cookbook? – cultural and language problems while translating cookbooks (pdf)

It seems that cookbooks are lately becoming ever more popular, it is easy to see that bookstores dedicate them more and more space their on bookshelves, while celebrity chefs publish books that are almost instantaneously translated into many languages (e.g. Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay). However, I am under the impression that linguists and culture experts do not show interest in cookbook translation nor do they assume a critical attitude towards them.

To show that translating a cookbook is a complicated and sensitive task not to be taken lightly, I analyze the inter-cultural and inter-language problems that arise during the cookbook translation. I then further categorize these problems into: translating culture-specific ingredients, translating names of the dishes, translating meat cuts, translating cooking procedures and translating implements, pots and pans. When describing these problems, I draw examples from the English translation of Károly Gundel's Kis magyar szakácskönyv, Corvina, Budapest (in english: Károly Gundel: Hungarian cookbook, Corvina, 2010, Budapest, translator: Ágnes Kádár), a book of immense importance for Hungarian gastronomy and world gastronomy alike.

The goal of this paper is to shed some light on cookbook translation and to provoke the interest of linguists, cultural experts and nonprofessionals, as well as to sharpen the awareness of all cookbooks readers and users.