Hilarious Spanish to English translation

There we were in Aguas Calientes, Peru... a ramshackle, built-overnight kind of town in the Urubamba Valley. We had just gotten up at 3:30 AM and spent an incredible morning at Machu Picchu - one of the best days of our lives, we both agreed. We wandered through the ruins in the early morning light with no one else around, climbed the death-defying path to the top of Wayna Picchu, and marveled at the stonework and the surrounding mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba. We returned to town by mid-afternoon, starving, happy, and looking for somewhere to eat. There were dozens of places to choose from on Avenue Pachacutec, and we picked one at random. Then, out of a high-altitude haze, a menu appeared. And not just any menu... a fantastic array of items that were never meant for human consumption. And a few that just sounded like a really bad idea.

Before I continue, a few disclaimers...

1.) I am not one of those Americans who expects everyone to speak English wherever I am in the world. We spoke almost entirely Spanish for our three week trip in Peru.

2.) I appreciate that the owners of this restaurant made an effort to put together a bilingual menu.

3.) If I were to try to translate an English menu into Spanish, it would be at least this bad, and probably worse.

Okay, having said that, this is by far the most hilariously bad translation that I have ever seen. Ever wanted to eat a stuffed pope? Now's your chance!

The first and only page of the menu we photographed....

Alright, some of these are fine. Guinea pig to the oven, for example, is pretty straightforward. Chops to the grill is equally clear. Padded guinea pig is starting to get a bit more ambiguous. Just how, exactly, is the guinea pig padded?

But German nickel pork cracklings? Pope stuffs? Loin of German nickel flambeada? It causes Limean? Suck of quinoa? Honestly? What the #/@$#!.

I suspect that this is just a bad case of some online translation service gone horribly wrong. For a moment, I considered having some business cards printed up, staying in South America, and helping restaurants properly translate their menus. But then reality crept back in, and the tears stopped running down our cheeks, and we stopped quietly convulsing with laughter behind our menus, trying not to be rude. We settled down to a late lunch of suck of trucha, and all was right with the world.

Comments 2 comments

Caroline 5 years ago

I don't know how you guys passed up "it causes Limean"- but this is hysterical nonetheless!

abrodech profile image

abrodech 22 months ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

Oh this is hilarious! I thank God everyday that I know Spanish!

It definitely helps when you're traveling abroad or speaking to Latino people whose English isn't that great, so you sometimes have to reverse translate what they said to figure out what they meant, but in this case, I would be clueless!

Safe travels!

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