Chartered Institute
of Linguists

Mille-feuille or Vanilla Slice? The Art of Food Translation

Event report

Josephine’s talk on food translation was very well received by the 48 people who attended.

Josephine discussed the different strategies that translators use when dealing with food terms, particularly in works of literature and cookery books, such as foreignisation, descriptive translation, intercultural adaptation, substitution and neologisms.

Using examples from Japanese, Italian, Spanish and French, she described how retaining a food word untranslated, with a one or two word explanation, such as ‘oden stew’ would enable the curious reader to look up the item online to find out more about it, such as its historical and cultural connotations.

Josephine touched on the fact that culinary translators must also have a grasp of differences between cultures in cooking techniques and cooking utensils.

After the talk and powerpoint presentation, there was time for questions and comments. Attendees mentioned the importance for translators to make time to truly understand the food or dish they were translating, to avoid insulting other cultures with inaccuracies.

Using examples from various languages, literary translator Josephine Murray will discuss the range of techniques used in translating food words, particularly in cookery books and literary texts, including retention, description, and, for foods that don’t exist in the target culture, substitution.

This is another opportunity hear Josephine’s CIOL Conference 2022 talk!


Programme timings

7pm: Introduction

7.05pm: Talk by Josephine Murray

7.35pm: Q & A session

7.45pm: Event ends



June 23rd, 2022 7:00 PM   to   7:45 PM
Events +
Category Gloucestershire Network
Event image

CIOL Gloucestershire Network