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Monday, May 24, 2010

Deciphering Menus

One of my language learning projects has been to decipher the menu from one of the restaurants near my apartment. I've been using a great program called NJ Star to look the characters up by radical (the separate components of a Chinese character), something you can't do with a regular Chinese-English dictionary.

Sometimes all that translating doesn't get me very far. For example, I've discovered that this restaurant offers "tofu brain" (豆腐脑 dou4 fu3 nao3), as well as "old sesame copy hand" (老麻抄手 lao3 ma2 chao1 shou3). However, the other day I had a breakthrough & was able to order a yummy meal of tofu with mushrooms and a spicy cabbage dish, a delicious reward for my efforts.

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