TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese netizens got a big kick out of this strange translation for "pork rib box lunch" spotted over the weekend.
On Saturday (Sept. 19), a member of the Facebook group Baoyuan Commune (爆怨公社) posted a photo of a sign next to a food stand, which read "pork rib boxed lunch" in Chinese characters (排骨便當). However, the English translation below read "ByE GooD ben don."
The photo soon gained 17,000 likes and drew 1,300 comments, with many poking fun at the sign's mangled translation. "This English is too professional, they can speak both Chinese and Taiwanese" and "I don't read too many books, what does this string of English words mean. Can you please help translate?"
However, some speakers of Taiwanese soon realized that the "English" appeared to be more like a crude attempt at Romanization of the Taiwanese pronunciation. "It's wrong to think of this as English! They are using Romanization [of Taiwanese]."
"Please use Taiwanese pronunciation and you'll get it right."
"If you use Taiwanese pronunciation, it looks about right."
"This is awesome, Taiwanese style English."
"Nothing could be more appropriate than this translation."
"This is very authentic, the boss is too talented."
"Foreigners can speak Taiwanese instantly, hahaha!"
Netizens then came up their own take at transliterating other dishes into Taiwanese style English, including "Bye Good so mi" (排骨酥麵, pork rib crispy noodles), "Gay Twin ben don" (雞腿便當, drumstick box lunch), "Bye Good so turn" (排骨酥湯, pork rib soup), and "Gay Bye ben don" (雞排便當, Chicken cutlet box lunch).
According to the Taiwanese website iTaigi 愛台語, the phonetic transcription for the dish should actually be pâi-kut piān-tong.
(Facebook, Baoyuan Commune photo)