“I’m Glad the Menu is in English.”

Last evening, my neighbor knocked at the door and gave me the menu from the Indian restaurant where they went for dinner. “Food is so good there, they barely speak English…”, and saying this, she looked meaningful – and I understood, this meant “very authentic delicious food”.

The menu showed a myriad of dishes that I certainly pronounce incorrectly; leave alone understand their meaning, nor what they might taste like. But luckily, the description/translation stands right underneath. So Lamb Jalfrezi is “Lamb sautéed in a wok with fresh garden vegetables and herbs” and Jeera Aloo is “Potatoes cooked with spices, ginger, garlic and cumin seeds”.

Well, I am not sure if the names are classic Indian dish names or self-created ones, yet in this case I am simply happy and relieved that with the description/translation I get some kind of picture and would be able to make a choice from the menu.

The owners are even so sensitive to give me an option to order my dish via a number next to the dish in case I feel self-conscious when trying to pronounce it, yet the truth is probably to avoid misunderstanding (remember, “they barely speak English”).

Of course, they have to add English because we are in America and most of their guests are English speakers, and their intent is to sell their food to the locals, and make communication easy, make their guests feel at ease. Menu International

And exactly that is always my point: Now we have the season of vacation, of travelers, visitors from Germany, France, Italy and so on. And not all of them speak English. They would appreciate a menu in their native language, would feel at ease, and very welcomed!

With that, I created a summer special for translating your restaurant menus. See here for the details: www.translationpurpose.com!

And I definitely will check out this Restaurant:
Curry Corner – Indian cuisine
9408 Martin Way East, Suite 2
Lacey, WA 98516
www.currycorner.us

Branding a City for International Tourism?

“Internationalization and branding of a tourism city” was the theme of the International Tourism City Forum 2010 which was held in Sofitel Hangzhou, China. 18 countries from around the world where represented at this forum. This conference was sponsored by the International Tourism Marketing Association (ITMA).

ITMA started in Beijing in March 2007 and since then has built a professional international level marketing service. With that they help tourism businesses with marketing planning, image building, tourism promotion, festivals and celebrations, etc. ITMA created and is involved in yearly major international conferences.

The important trend for world tourism development is internationally convergence and integration. International marketing has become an important way for tourism destination. Language becomes the first obstacles when it comes to international tourism marketing and internet becomes the best tool to depend on. How to use internet to spread image and information for tourism destination? How to use multilingual platform to inform the target tourists’ countries?” (read more… )

ITMA owns now a multilingual international website, www.itmacom.com, which offers content in Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese, Russian, German, French, Arabic and Spanish.

Excited, I went to the website and clicked on all the pages in different languages. Well, it seems to be a work in process, as I couldn’t access any foreign language info except for some English. I was very fascinated by the global multilingual vision I read on ITMA’s info website, yet really disappointed in seeing the poor integration upon reviewing the website. This is a really good example that it is important that you do what you promise to your website visitors. You don’t have to integrate your whole vision at once, you can start with an i.e. one page summary in the foreign language, or translate the most important pages and inform your visitors when clickable content leads to non native pages. You show respect this way, and don’t lose your credibility. I will revisit ITMA’s website in few months, maybe.

“Feast in the Mountains” – Whistler’s Unique Celebration

This time being in Beautiful British Columbia, I passed Vancouver and continued driving Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway, up to Whistler, the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games. Filled with utmost curiosity I was off to an event in Whistler’s Rebagliati Park where I would participate in celebrating the “connection between farm and fork” with a Feast in the Mountains!

In this inaugural year of Feast in the Mountains the Chefs represent Whistler’s brightest culinary talents and some of the finest BC beverages.fairmont2

With the wine glass and a menu received at the entrance, I walked from booth to booth various times, tastingglassesnapkins beautiful arranged tidbits of food in the order they appealed to my palate (and personal sense of menu order). While taking my time, I ventured to the quieter booths of the producers of that bounty. “Amongst the beauty of these mountains lie fertile lands that have long produced food for this valley and beyond. Upon that land a small number of committed farmers toil without glamour or acclaim to ensure the integrity of our food chain. This event is inspired by them – their commitment in the face of great challenges, their passion for the land that sustains us”, writes Astrid Cameron, Co-founder/Co-producer of Feast in the Mountains.playerschophouse

Furthermore, several organizations were represented; I encourage you to check them out:

Slow Food, an international organization that was founded in 1986 as a response to the standardizing effects of fast food and the fast life. It supports good, clean and fair food. Ocean Wise, Canada’s leading sustainable seafood restaurant program, Green Table, a network of sustainable foodservice and their suppliers in the greater Vancouver, BC area (although foodservices from elsewhere are welcome), and Farm Folk/City Folk, an organization that connects farm and city and that focuses on cultivating a local, sustainable food system.

I really liked the relaxed atmosphere full of laughter that comes along naturally with good quality food and drink (especially in an outside setting). Yes, it was a great feast in the mountains – and also a conscious one that celebrated the whole food chain and gives dining out again a meaning of true hospitality.

Find all pictures taken at this event at our flickr site

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The “American Track” is international – www.amtrak.com

Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) is the transportation for enjoying the journey while traveling the US, as well as Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal in Canada.

Amtrak took its international approach very thorough and translated its entire content into Spanish and German language. I explored the German part and I am pretty sure that the Spanish is of equal excellence:

Portal (to the various languages): When arriving at www.amtrak.com, you clearly can see the links in the native language ‘Español‘ and ‘Deutsch‘ written vs. the sometimes ambiguous flags that are used to indicate a foreign language page.

Images: Images with text are translated, special offer picture ads, even the search button are translated for the German visitor. It gives the whole website a very integrated look and feel.

Customer Service: The German traveler finds all info on individual Amtrak stations, can search for current special offers, latest information on critical issues (such as swine flu), and use the reservation system in its native language. Amtrak provides an interactive map to search routes and plan trips which is in English, yet it is acceptable because the search goes via an image map of the US or by station and region names. And in case German visitors don’t find an answer in the question and answer section of the website, they can go to the contact page and submit their request… the answer they receive will be in German.

amtrak4

10th Anniversary of Chef Wayne in Andaluca

Yesterday, I was honored being a guest at Chef Wayne’s 10-year anniversary at Andaluca.

I liked the warm welcome by the Chef himself, the background music creating the Andaluca atmosphere, and the delicious food that puzzled my taste buds with new sensations (I definitely want to go back to taste more). I was faszinated by the stories, the journey, the achievements shared about Wayne, his thanks to his crew and team in the kitchen. I enjoyed the variety of interesting people I met – his friends, family and other foodies.

Wayne, I wish you all the best for your journey ahead.

Andaluca2
Andaluca3

photo credit: Lacey Lybecker of LovingLocalFood. Thank you Lacey!

3 Essential Strategies to Successfully Translate Your Brand Into Another Language

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