On recipe translation

Subject: On recipe translation
From: "Matthew Bin" <mattbin -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 16:21:36 +0000

There's a really good set of cookbooks (in that they're very colorful and quite inexpensive, and even have some good recipes!) by Australian Women's Weekly (I think! it's something like that anyhow). I have a few of their cookbooks, and I've learned a whole new food lexicon thanks to them.

But there is definitely an element of translation in there. They have different names for some foods (e.g. vegetables) and give all measurements in metric (which is fine by me, because I use metric too), which would require some translation. There are also times when the strategy is just different; for example, flour is measured by weight rather than volume, which is complete craziness in my book. But then so is calling arugula "rocket". (Kidding, of course, even about the flour. But most cookbooks in North America call for flour by the cup, not by the gram. So it's weird, all right?)

Incidentally, on what Owen mentioned--recipes are very common in middle English, so in a way they predate _our_ formalised language. However, the recipes are not very easy to use--they assume a certain understanding of technique that's not known now, and there's some debate among scholars about how to make a lot of the recipes. But that's the case right through the nineteenth century, I suppose.

Finally! My middle English courses have provided useful knowledge in a day-to-day activity! About freakin' time.


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