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Taipei Welcomes a Bilingual Menu in Preparation for the 2017 Universiade

Are you confused upon the local food scene here and not sure how to order? What is the deep-fried sandwich and how come some people call it the coffin sandwich? Are the pan-fried stuffed buns and the fried baozi the same thing? Fear not, for the Taipei City Department of Information and Tourism has published a “Bilingual Menu for One Hundred Foods” on June 27th, including both Mandarin and English as well as visuals to make ordering easier. Restaurants are encouraged to download the menu and post it around their store to simplify the ordering process.

Commissioner of the Department of Information and Tourism Yu-yen Chien noted that, with the 2017 Universiade coming up next year, visitors and athletes from each corner of the world would be attracted to Taipei. Since Taiwan is well-known for its prevalent food culture, both shopkeepers and visitors can utilise the bilingual menu to prevent confusion when ordering.

Chien also states that, the international visitor count to Taipei from January to May this year had increased 10.23% from last year’s 3.82 million and hit 4.21 million. In response to the growing number of visitors, some stores and night market stands have created their own bilingual menus. However, the crowd-favourite xiaolongbao, stinky tofu, and oyster omelettes have had different translations among different stands, and thus creating a lack of understanding on both sides.

During the press conference, Head of Shilin Night Market Tourism Council Tian-lai Lin, Director of Ninxia Night Market Tourism Din-guo Lin, and Head of Shuangcheng Street Night Market Zheng-bin Liao attended as representatives of each night market to show their support for the bilingual menu. Din-guo Lin remarks that the unifying efforts of the bilingual menu to have a distinct name for each dish would definitely help international visitors understand the food scene in Taipei as he would see many cases of the same dish being translated into different things.

Translating the local Taipei dishes into English is no easy task, the Department of Information and Tourism combined various contributions and consulted the Taipei City Hall English Consultant for help. Chien explains that the “Bilingual Menu for One Hundred Foods” published on the 27th is only the first draft, others with different opinions are welcome to speak out as well as offer more translations for dishes that have not been included yet. The bilingual menu also strives to be multi-lingual in the future to welcome international visitors to the friendly and convenient Taipei before the 2017 Universiade.

The “bilingual Menu of One Hundred Foods” include the Mandarin and the English as well as a picture for foods such as braised pork on rice, Taiwanese meatballs, and oyster fritters. The menu is available at (http://new.travel.taipei/zh-tw/shop/100-night-market-snacks)(Chinese).