Odd sentence in English -- French

  • Just a small thing, but I thought it worth mentioning. While I was studying French, this short sentence popped up: "Tu prends une entree"? (Sorry about the accents; I see others have used them here on the forums, but I don't know how.) In French that might be a perfectly fine sentence, but the English translation provided: "Are you taking a starter" is odd; it took me quite a while to realize that it probably is about ordering in a restaurant. If I'm right, a better translation would be, "Are you ordering an appetizer?" "Starter" is probably OK, too, but "appetizer" is a more standard (if strange) word for first restaurant courses. (In the US at least "entree," weirdly, refers to the main course. It seems we stole the word and then messed it up.

    Hope this is helpful.

  • Starter is the word used in many countries. I had great difficulty with a student (I am an ESOL teacher) in explaining an American resource to him, as to us here in New Zealand an entree is a starter and he's learning here not the USA! He was very upset to be marked wrong for not knowing that you in the USA use the word entree weirdly!
    I knew only because my son went on holiday to Dragon Con in Atlanta in 2015 and 2016.

  • works@Lingvist

    Hi Jim, thank you for pointing that out, as there may be other users out there who were also confused. “Appetizer” is indeed the correct translation here in US English. Our default format for all translations in the app is UK English, so you may occasionally find terms that seem slightly unfamiliar at first. These differences are usually small and often limited only to spelling, but at times they differ widely enough to result in unintended hilarity (For example, did you know that “pants” is the term for “men’s underwear” in the UK?). I found an illustrated guide to more UK/US differences here – take a look and let me know which are your favorites!

Log in to reply

Recent topics: