Food is not only for the purpose of nutrition and surviving. It has become the way in which people connect, share, and bond together. It is something that brings people together from all around the world. Recipe and cookbook translation takes this concept a step further. How? By bringing different cultures and different flavors to all corners of the globe. Creating easy access to new and exciting flavours and dishes. And now with the speed of the internet, finding out how to make a dish from Japan when you live in Canada is as easy as 2 clicks.
That being said, recipe and cookbook translation has a variety of challenges. No worries, though. After reading this post, we are 100% sure that you will start exploring international cuisines from foreign sources. Enjoy!
Recipe and Cookbook Translation Challenges
- Measurements are different in each country
- Ingredients available in some countries may not be available in others
- Cooking tools (pots and pans) can vary from country to country
So how do we handle some of these challenges? There are a variety of techniques and strategies at your disposal. These solutions show some of the advantages of recipe and cookbook translations and how it can increase the quality of writing and its relevance to users.
Let’s address the first challenge mentioned above: measurement variation in different countries. Translators have frequently included a chart that shows measurement equivalents, however in a longer recipe, or in a cookbook it can be frustrating for the reader to have to continuously have to refer back to that page. It is here we highly recommend taking translation a step further and actually customizing the content to the intended audience. So converting measurements to the system used in the country where you will publish your work. More than convenience, it is crucial to the recipe and for the quality of food that there be consistency of measurements. Without this, you are sure to have disappointed readers.
The second challenge: Ingredient variation from country to country. Many translators will simply translate the word or ingredient to the second language. However, it is here we recommend again, taking language translation and effective writing a step further. If a recipe calls for Cumin, but in the intended region it is unavailable or extremely expensive your content will essentially be useless and not be exciting for users. Here it is highly recommended to keep the original ingredient, but also have a list of substitute ingredients. This allows for the recipe to truly be used globally and account for any issues the user may run into along the way. It provides options which means happy readers.
The third challenge: Cooking tools and availability being different in various countries. As an example: certain moroccan recipes require a tagine. If you are translating a Moroccan cookbook to English and the intended market will be in England, users may not have access to a tagine. It is here, were we also recommend not only translating the word to have an accurate and authentic recipe, but also suggesting substitution cooking tools. In addition to including a detailed description of what a tagine looks like and how it works and the intended outcome. It is going above and beyond simple translation, but putting in extra work to ensure your intended audience can actually benefit from the content you are providing them and contextually providing them with solutions.
Using these strategies and taking recipe and cookbook translation beyond the simple concept of: this word means this word, will drastically enhance the quality of your writing. Not only that, it will make for happy users, relevant and interesting content, and the knowledge that you have helped people around the world find a way to come together and share a meal in a whole new, different and convenient way.