Menu Translation – A Key Part of Your Hospitality Translation Project

Menu Translation - A Key Part of Your Hospitality Translation Project

One of the most frustrating aspects of not understanding the language for travellers is ordering meals in restaurants. Because the menu serves as the foundation for communication between consumers and restaurants, an increasing number of hospitality companies are increasingly offering menus in other languages to their customers. 

In reality, menu translation is one of the most difficult or complicated translation tasks in a hospitality translation project. 

So, what should the restaurant consider while translating a menu into multiple languages? First and foremost, you must have a menu translation professional who can give their services professionally.

4 Reasons Why You Should Translate Your Menu

Here are 4 reasons why your menu should be translated into different languages.

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#1. Making a nice first impression

When picking a restaurant, consumers are usually more interested in the menu. A menu that foreign clients can comprehend immediately establishes trust and thus, be the deciding factor in choosing a hotel restaurant over the countless other options available to travellers. A bad menu translation may make or break your project.

#2. To broaden the client base

According to the Office for National Statistics data on inbound tourism in the UK, there are over 30 million trips from overseas each year, totalling more than 200 million nights spent in the UK. 

Looking at these figures, it is evident that the potential for attracting foreign consumers is enormous – and by offering menus in multiple languages, hotel restaurants may significantly increase their client base.

#3. To ensure customer happiness

Modern tourists have high expectations. They demand high-quality restaurant and hotel services, and menus that they don’t understand certainly don’t live up to their expectations. 

With the tourism sector being so competitive these days, any restaurant that does not satisfy all consumer expectations immediately suffers customer discontent and, in the long run, client loss.

#4. To protect the restaurant’s and hotel’s reputations

The internet is an excellent tool for travellers to share their travel experiences with the rest of the globe. However, if their experience is negative, it poses a major danger to the reputation of the service providers they have chosen. 

Tourists are also frequently unable to separate one single experience they had in a particular location from all other experiences and impressions, which means that dissatisfaction caused by customers not understanding a hospitality translation hurts not only the reputation of the restaurant but very likely also the reputation of the hotel in general.

4 Tips for Effective Menu Translation

Check out our 4 useful tips that will help you achieve a successful menu translation project. 

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#1. Transliteration vs. Translation

Many meals are well known by their common names in the target markets. In such circumstances, hospitality translation is unnecessary and may perhaps add to the confusion. 

Transliteration of the dish’s name may be the best option for menus in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Russian. The process of employing the phonetic sounds of the source word in the target language is known as transliteration. 

The target language’s equivalent words and meanings are used in translation. Transliteration is frequently employed for brand names and foreign words, such as crème Fraiche, beurre blanc, and Worcestershire sauce.

#2. Maintain simplicity and leave it alone! 

Sometimes leaving the entrée in its native language and providing an attractive explanation of the ingredients or preparation procedure in the target language is the best way. 

Just oversaw a menu translation effort with a “Sauce Jacqueline.” The restaurant chose to use the French sauce name while also including a translated description of the sauce’s contents. A carrot and ginger reduction sounded delicious!

#3. The hospitality translations must be equivalent in all languages

Another factor to consider when translating a menu into many languages is that the translations must be equivalent in all languages. This means that if you decide not to translate the name of a specific meal, you should make the same decision for all of the languages you’ll be translating into.

The menu translation is intended to improve the customers’ satisfaction with the restaurant and the work done by the wait staff or anyone working there, so it is critical to translate a menu with the assistance of the best professionals rather than using internet-based machine translation software.

#4. All of the ingredients for which there is no translation

Ingredient names may be uncommon or non-existent in the target location. In such circumstances, official vocabulary may be lacking, and terms may need to be “created” to define what’s on the menu. 

But be cautious. Your goal should be to entice rather than to confuse or disgust. We recently discovered an Arabic menu translation that substituted “brains” for “sweetbreads.” If we had to choose between brains and something else, we’d go with the “something else.”

Menu translation may appear simple, but it frequently involves aspects that can complicate the procedure. When constructing multilingual menus, keep your target audience in mind at all times. Some items may be difficult to translate, and you may need to consider transliteration or merely translating parts of the text. 

Using hospitality translation services has become an important aspect of travel firms’ success in the hospitality and travel business. With a staff of talented linguists, GTE Localize gets you closer to your worldwide audience with superior hospitality translation services.

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