Score! I got handed a menu a couple days ago for a high end 焼き肉 restaurant (the kind where you grill meat at your table, Korean style) in Kyoto, and I'll be translating it and re-designing it over the next few weeks, so I'll be posting updates on how that's going. So far its actually more difficult than I thought. Being a menu for a Korean style restaurant, there are a lot of Korean words which are written in katakana, so figuring out how to best translate them is a multi-step process of searching the word in Japanese, reading an explanation of what it means in Japanese, and thinking about how you'd say that in English in a way that would be both elegant and clear to someone looking at a menu. Here's one tasty example:
水菜 (pronounced mizuna) is a type of green that resembles arugula to me (but may or may not be completely unrelated). I'm not sure whether or not it's ok to just say "mizuna" in the English menu. I mean, I bet a chef would know what mizuna is, but your average person probably doesn't. If you put 水菜 in a dictionary it comes up either as "mizuna" or "potherb mustard," something I've never heard of in my life... so I went with "mizuna greens," it's simple and you can get an idea of what it is you're ordering, which is the most important thing in this case.
チョレギ is a Korean word, so I looked it up in Japanese and found that what it means is "lightly or briefly pickled/soaked." So I was thinking it had some kind of pickled aspect, but then I asked somebody who said no it's not pickled, but the dressing has vinegar... so now I'm not really sure what to call this salad. It may just end up being "Mizuna greens choregi salad." Yes, I realize the fastest solution would be for me to go to the restaurant and taste everything on the menu. That would be both awesome because free food, and not awesome because I don't eat stomachs and intestines and stuff like that.