Friday, 11 November 2011

News Brief: What the heck is New Row Mian?

Taipei councilors yesterday asked why the city’s latest “international festival” about to kick off has the Chinese “牛肉麵” transliterated as “new row mian”*  rather than being translated as “beef noodles”, Formosa TV reports today (full Chinese-language article here).

Taipei City Government explained that food expert Han Liang-lu (韓良露) suggested it previously, on the basis that Taiwan’s food culture should have distinctive names.

*[NOMM notes: this is not according to any Romanization system ever used, the city’s adoption of China’s system would produce niu rou mian, for example]

Text and photos © Jiyue Publications 2011


  1. Interesting (often amusing) translations of foods are legion in Taiwan. Perhaps readers would like to share some favorites. What is special about this one is that it comes not from some non-English-speaking restaurateur in a side street of Changhua County, but from the Taipei City Government, which actively employs (but probably doesn't listen to) native English-speaking translators and editors.

  2. i read a news before about a local restaurant translating 愛玉, jelly made from seeds of a plant, as "love jade," and that kind of makes sense compared with "new row mian."


  3. "... made from seeds of a plant ..."

    and that plant is? if it is NOT called "love jade", what is it called, Shad?

  4. a kind of vine actually,
    and some people call the fruit from which the jelly is made "jelly fig".

    "ice jelly", "ai-yu jelly" are names i found so far :D