My student Hanz in China writes:
Today I'm reviewing "What’s Your Lifestyle" part 2. There is a sentence which I don't understand. Could you please explain it for me? Thanks.
[Question edited by me]
Update 2017-10-22: Added Podcasts in English 1.117, 2.114 and 3.114. 2017-08-27: Added several Culips podcasts. 2017-03-22: Added British Council. 2017-01-12: Update ESL Pod links to Lizhi.fm. Added ESL Podcast #870.
Re our class on health and fitness, here are some podcasts where you can hear discussion on: health, diet, exercise, habits etc.
Food and Diet
Exercise, fitness, gym, spa
BBC China Learning English has a Chinese-English podcast on the English words for many spices and herbs (and some condiments too) used in food, especially in Britain's favourite type of food, curry.
These words could be useful for explaining food when entertaining customers or visiting (and eating in) other countries on business trips.
You can listen online, download the MP3 and read the PDF.
(Many words are linked to an online dictionary where you can find out more about the word, like definitions, example sentences, translations, synonyms, pronunciation etc.)
In Part I, I gave some reasons why it's better to explain unfamiliar food than to translate it, and some general advice on how to explain it.
In this part, I'll start explaining an important part of explaining food: cooking methods.
Here's a table of many cooking methods:
As you can see there are a lot, so I will focus on the most common ones; or least, my favourite ones :) .
In this part I'll explain baking and roasting. Click "Read More" to continue...
The main reason why there has been such a long time between Part I and Part II of my articles on explaining food is this:
I've used words for different cooking methods all my life without every thinking of the technical differences between them. The more I researched for this article, the more complicated it got. These words involve scientific questions of physics and chemistry, my least favourite subjects at school!
But the next part (on baking and roasting) is coming soon, I promise.
Soon after I posted Explaining Food, Part I, I read that the Beijing authorities have made a list of sensible names for many Chinese dishes.
I found out through an article on ChinaSmack, a blog translating Chinese internet news into English:
Which is based on this article from Beijing Ribao:
Update 2014-01-07: I have updated the vocab links, as they used to from the Bing online dictionary, which keeps changing its URLs.
Im my Hiknow business English class on Food & Entertaining, I like to make one point clear: food can't always be translated. A Chinese dish might not have a name in English. So what do you say when trying to speak about Chinese food in English? What should someone say when trying to explain foreign food to someone Chinese?
If you said in English to a foreign visitor "Please eat these Acid Hot Copy Hands", they might think you were mad, maybe murderous, perhaps a plagiarist and possibly a cannibal to boot! Although they might also just laugh, realising that the food you're offering couldn't possibly contain acid and hands and that it's (probably?) just a language barrier issue.
Here are a couple of alternatives to just translating the Chinese name:
1. Give the Chinese name and a short explanation.
"These are suānlà chāoshǒu. They are large dumplings, made with wheat flour. First, pork and spices are wrapped in thin sheets of dough, then they're steamed and finally covered in a spicy sauce. They're a speciality of Sichuan. Try one! They're delicious!"
That way, not only does the visitor get the right idea about what the food is, but you're also selling them on it: describing its features and making them want to have it.
2. Give a simple explanatory name.
For example "Spicy steamed Sichuan dumplings". It's less poetic... but also less scary and less confusing!
What you imagine when you say "suānlà chāoshǒu":
What an English speaker imagines when they hear "Acid Hot Copy Hand":
G.A.L.E.S.L. / joe3
Some tips and links on learning English.