Tolnai Translations

How worldview is reflected in the name of a dessert

It should be no surprise to anyone that worldview affects language. More precisely, every culture chooses its own way of denominating concepts according to various contextual factors (e.g. the landscape they inhabit, the habits they developed over the years, the geo-political context, history, climate etc.). This is why word-for-word translation never works!

I had some floating-islands for breakfast today and it just occurred to me that although this type of dessert is almost the same in a number of cultures, it has different names.

Romanian – lapte de pasăre

Hungarian – madártej

(the metaphor is based on the milk-egg yolk combination and it is suggested by the yellow color)

French – îles flottante

English – floating islands

(the metaphor is based on the visual perception one has when looking at the dessert – a couple of meringue lumps ”islands” floating in a sea of milk)

German – Schneeeier (snow eggs)

Austrian German – Schneenockerl mit Kanarimilch (again reference to the ”bird milk”)

Croation – paradižet (Paradise – this is an interesting interpretation since it focuses on the sensation one has after eating the dessert and not on the ingredients and the visual aspect).


Do you know this dessert? Do you have it in your culture? If so, what is it called? Leave a comment below :).


Share Button
No Comments
Post a Comment