italian menu translator

Apr 3rd, 2009, 11:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 13
italian menu translator

is there any site where i can print out aenglish to italian , or reverse, menu translator any help appreciated. thanks
rpokee is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,149
Marlings menu master. You can order it from Amazon. I just ordered one as part of a wedding present. I think it was $9.95 and came in two days.

We use the Marlings in Europe and it is immensely easy to use.
PamSF is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 03:27 PM
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Be sure you get a true menu translator.

I find that simple language translators don't work at all for menus. Many menu items are a culinary term or a dish with a specialized name. Bistecca Fiorentina would translate into steak, Florence style - and if you don't know what it is you'd be sol. Ditto for the names of pasta - lots of different sizes, shapes for basically the same ingredient (pasta) - picci, tagliatelle, farfalle, or pasta dishes - knowing that Carbonarra means ala charwoman tells you nothing about the dish.

Trying new things without knowing what they are is sometimes part of the adventure!
J62 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 03:48 PM
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Well pasta carbonara is the same in Italy as in the US - as are the names of the pastas. But if you're not familiar with more thana couple of Itlaian dishes I guess it could be a problem.

Agree you need a menu reader (that describes the dish) rather than just a translator - which will tell you "chicken", but not what parts or how/with what they're cooking it.

And do realize that in Italy pastas are not main courses (although you can order one that way if you want). It typically comes before the main course and in much smaller portions. Also, saucing is much lighter - just a little, not swimming in gallons like many places in the US. For instance, veal parmigian is a smallish piece of veal with a little light tomato sauce and grated parmigian cheese topping the veal in the center - not a plate-covering veal bloc encased in a rubbery covering of melted cheese with loads of sauce underneath.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 07:13 PM
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You don't say where you are going in Italy, but be aware that Italian cooking is very regional. There are some dishes that are on the menu in every region of Italy, but it's sometimes wise to avoid them and choose the regional specialties.

There's a fairly useful introduction to regional Italian cooking here:
Zerlina is offline  
Mar 7th, 2011, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 338
For IPhone users uses camera to translate
* Road signs
* Maps
* Newspapers
* Menus
* Warnings
hkto is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4
The Passeport Gastronomique: Italy at Amazon is great for helping you decipher Italian menus and it covers regional foods. It works on Kindle and most mobile devices like iPhone, Blackberry etc
gerrit is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 07:47 AM
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lmont is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 07:54 AM
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Once again, Fodors comes thru.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Apr 1st, 2011, 07:59 AM
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I'm with J62. It is the less common items, the sepecialties of the house, and the regional dishes that will fool you. Many times in many places we ordered things that came out as something else.

I am especially with J62 that eating is part of the adventure. Who knows you make like the pig's trotter which turned out to be anything but a pig walks on.

And then there are those countries where whatever you order it all looks the same.
Aduchamp1 is offline  

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