Restaurant menu understanding: illustrating the need for culturally augmented translation - Naver Labs Europe
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Abstract

We carried out a user study on the issues foreign customers face when going to restaurants abroad. We describe our study and findings illustrating that simple translation is not enough to help customers understand restaurant menus in foreign countries. Similar to what is provided by human translation, where the translator mediates between the author and the reader, menu translation should augment the translated menu with complementary information to address cultural specificities and differences. It should for instance highlight local specialties, provide background information on the proposed dishes, and explain different eating habits or manners. The information provided should bridge cultural differences and has to be adapted to the specific cultural background of the customer. The smartphone would be the ideal way to provide this information as it is the tool that traveler naturally resort to.