Sunday, 10 August 2008

Putting fish in its plaice


In the midlands it was not unusual to find a fish and chip shop listing a single, unidentified, generic variety called "fish" on the menu (while in other areas, you'd get a choice of cod, haddock, plaice, whatever) and it finally occurred to me yesterday that this might be because of a lack of translation skills ...

I wish I'd kept the packet now, but I'd tossed in the bin before I'd fully taken this on board. However, at the local newsagent yesterday, I picked up a pouch of Felix plaice variety stinky goodness in jelly as a treat for the puddy tats. And quite absent-mindedly, I was looking over the list of languages and translations on the packet. English first, said "... with PLAICE." The Spanish was last and said, "... con BACALAO." But, as any bilingual fool knows, bacalao is COD, not plaice. It hardly matters really when whatever it was there was only 4% of it (so we know this is 96% water / chemicals / fresh air and the equivalent of fast food / gooey sweets for cats, but you do expect it to be somewhat accurate. Mind you, even if it was "generic fish", the cats loved it anyway! :)

Fish and chips on the seafront at Hunstanton, Norfolk UK. In this instance the fish is deep fried plaice. Photograph © Andrew Dunn.

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