Untidy Eggs and Ham
Strawberries with Scum
If you saw any of those items on a restaurant menu, you might think someone was playing a bad joke. More likely, you've simply come across the product of an inept translation.
Food blog writer, El Comidista (aka Mikel Lopez Iturriaga) recently posted an article on the topic of bad translations of fare on offer in Spanish restaurants, in "From Lost to the Carta: the Worst Menu Translations,”
In his post he observed that "menu translation errors generate tragicomic moments, like Octopus 'to the Party' (Pulpo a Feira) or Fish 'in Nautical Fashion' (Pescado a la Marinera). Who the hell writes them?"
I think it is nice that some restaurants in Spain have English language translations of their menus for their foreign diners, but, as you can see from the examples above, sometimes they don't quite get the wording right.
To be fair (ba da boom), the word 'feira' in 'Pulpo a Feira' is not Spanish but Galician. In Spanish it would be 'feria'. Anyway, the literal translation is 'Fair Style Octopus' – in other words, prepared in the way it is at festive events, such as the Fiesta del Pulpo (Octopus Festival) held in the town of O Carballino on the second Sunday of August each year.
Outside of Galica, the dish is more commonly known as 'Pulpo a la Gallega,' so 'Galician Style Octopus' might have been a better translation.
As for the “Pescado a la Marinera,” I'd go with 'Mariner Style Fish' – 'Seafarer' and 'Fisherman' would do, too, I suppose.
Moving past the 'it's the thought that counts' perspective, here are some other examples of the simply awful – and oftentimes funny or even hilarious – translations El Comidista highlighted (with my suggestion for a better translation following in parenthesis):
pescado a la plancha ≠ fish to the iron (= grilled fish)
pimientos con bonito ≠ peppers with beautiful (= peppers with bonito tuna)
mousse del día ≠ day mousse (= mousse of the day)
mató con miel ≠ killed with honey (= ricotta OR cottage cheese with honey)
vino en botella ≠ he/she came in bottle (= bottled wine)
tentáculos de calamar ≠ squid testicles (= squid tentacles)
cochinillo asado ≠ piglet spit (= spit roasted piglet)
fruta del tiempo ≠ fruit time (= seasonal fruit)
jabalí de caza ≠ boar hunting stew style (= wild boar stew)
salchichas catalanas con judías ≠ Catalan sausages with jews (= Catalan sausage with beans)
Coca Cola ≠ Cocaine Tail (uhh, why translate Coca Cola? Or maybe just use Coke?)
habitas finas con jamon ≠ you inhabit fine with ham (= young fava beans with ham)
cocido leones ≠ cooked lions (= Leon style stew, named after a province of Spain)
revueltos de ajetes y gambas ≠ In a mess of ajetes shrimps (= scrambled eggs with leek and shrimp)
Todos los días ≠ Everyone days (= Every day)
Gracias por su visita ≠ Thank you for his (her-your) visit