Practice what you preach. We’ve all heard it, but it’s bizarre how you can so easily become disconnected with the product you sell or make. Companies always attempt to create incentives to encourage their employees to get out and use their product so that they can maintain the perspective of the customer. We always ask Waygo users to submit interesting translations, so we can continually improve our product, but we realize we also need to use Waygo first-hand in real-life situations. So yesterday, with Waygo in hand, I took myself out to lunch at Fu Lam Mum Restaurant in Mountain View, California. I found some wins, some ties, and yes, some losses. Let’s start with the wins.
Winning: Waygo’s translation was more useful than the menu
FLM: Egg flower soup
If you don’t know what “Egg Flower Soup” entails, Waygo gives you more detail.
FLM: Ying Yang Sausage w/ Chinese spinach
For those of us who are unfamiliar with Ying Yang sausage, Waygo clarifies that it is two-colored sausage.
FLM: Ginger & Preserved Eggs
Waygo gives a touch more detail.
FLM: Sweet and Sour Pork
Don’t like pineannple? Than don’t order this dish!
Tying: Although different, Waygo’s translation was as useful as the menu
FLM: Chilled Jellyfish
What do you prefer–cold dressed or chilled?
FLM: Clams w/ Superior Wine Broth
What’s more superior liquor-soaked or not?
FLM: Korean Style Grilled Sea Bass.
Waygo translates 鳕鱼 as Codfish, whereas FLM translates it as sea bass. MDBG dictionary also translates as codfish.
Loosing: Waygo’s translation was less useful than the menu. Not to worry, we will make improvements from this learning exercise!
FLM: Hong Kong Style Pig Intestine w/ Roasted Garlic
Waygo literally translated the dish. 避风 means to take shelter from the wind. From the characters alone, it is impossible to know that the dish is from Hong Kong and it is served with garlic. The menu was translated by someone with cultural knowledge.
FLM: Sautéed Scallops & Steak Cubes w/ Honey Pepper Sauce
Waygo translated 牛仔 literally as cowboy, instead of steak.
FLM: Late Night Special
Waygo recognized the first two characters as 青表 which means green appearance, rather than 宵夜 (xiāoyè) which means midnight snack. Look closely, and you can see that the characters are different, leading to a different translation.
In conclusion, we won’t take it personally if you submit a strange translation to us. Although it’s hard to sometimes put our faults on blast, it’s what ultimately leads to a better product. Treat yourself out for some Chinese food and bring Waygo along as your date