CHUNCHEON, July 6 (Korea Bizwire) – “The Palace Exploded the Diced Chicken”, “Mixed Sea Food Iraq Government Office Surface”, “Fried French”. These are some of the local ‘dishes’ that tourists run into when travelling overseas. But a recent study showed that Korea is not immune to this problem, with many awkward menu translations uncovered by the researchers. 

In the study conducted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, at least one ‘severe’ mistranslation was observed on 32.4 percent of the Chinese menus at restaurants near major tourist attractions in Seoul. 

Following the shocking revelation, Gangwon Province stepped forward to develop more accurate menus translated into three foreign languages – English, Mandarin and Japanese – and distribute them to some 1,000 restaurants in the province. ‘Model restaurants’, restaurants in ‘specialized food districts’, and restaurants near popular tourist spots will be among the establishments receiving the menus. 

The Visit Korea Committee, Korea Tourism Organization, and 18 cities and counties in Gangwon will participate in the endeavor. 

The new menus will include names, pictures, and descriptions of the dishes, as well as simple Korean sentences to provide further convenience in ordering food. The entire process, including translation and printing, is expected to be completed by November. 

The selected restaurants will also be able to promote their businesses via a multilingual Gangwon tourism mobile application, which is currently under development by the province. 

“Distributing accurately translated menus will help resolve some of the inconveniences faced by foreigners at Korean restaurants,” said Kim Hak-cheol, director of Gangwon Culture, Sports and Tourism. “We’re also planning to improve the restaurants’ facilities, and educate the staff to be more tourist-friendly so that visiting foreigners feel more comfortable during their stay in Gangwon.”

By Lina Jang (linajang@koreabizwire.com)

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