Made to look like muffins…

posted on 11 Feb 2020 in Chinglish, Menus

Photo courtesy of Joshua Geyer.
Tray of muffins found in China hotel buffet. 

16 captions

  1. Droll not Troll | 4:04 am |

    Oat muffins, made with “used” oats.

  2. Running Comment | 4:06 am |

    – Waiter, my horse manure has got muffins in it !
    – Well Sir, you should see what we feed the horses.

  3. Marum | 4:09 am |

    Paddock Cakes.

  4. Droll not Troll | 4:11 am |

    Who called the baker a sack of shiat?

  5. Droll not Troll | 4:18 am |

    2 mares, 1 cupcake.

  6. Droll not Troll | 4:21 am |

    Nevermind the muffins; I want a better look at that fenced cake in the background!

  7. Droll not Troll | 4:28 am |

    No, you idiot! I wanted hors d’oeuvres, not horse doo doo!

  8. alexmagnus | 5:31 am |

    Ah, again Chinese and their “transliteration” of loanwords. Wirdly, there is no established way to write “muffin” in Chinese – both 玛芬 and 马芬 are acceptable.

    OK, 马 is indeed a horse. 包 is indeed a bag. But how did they come up with manure? 芬 means perfume, sweet smeell or fragrance – pretty much the opposite of the smell of manure :D. Now, there is a word pronounced “fen” and meaning manure (粪), but it’s not only a different character, but also in the wrong tone! Which makes me thinnk: 1) the translator was clearly a human, 2) the human was maybe a Chinese, but not a Mandarin native speaker….

  9. DrLex | 6:29 am |

    @alexmagnus: Maybve someone knew someone who knows English, and the latter was verbally asked to give the translation for “mafen” without any context and with poor pronunciation of the tones…

  10. Running Comment | 6:40 am |

    @DrLex, 6.29am:
    – That’s a bag of horse sh!t !
    – No, it’s a muffin.
    – That’s what I said, innit ?

  11. PeeBee | 10:46 am |

    Maybe they accidentally translated “Meadow Muffin.”

  12. Algernon | 11:39 am |

    When only the best deficant will do.

  13. Algernon | 11:40 am |

    Well if you must know, they taste like sh!t

  14. Marum | 4:06 pm |

    @algernon. I’ll defer to your greater experience.

    I have no idea what $h1t tastes like.

  15. Peter Chan | 10:53 pm |

    @alexmagnus | 5:31 am |

    Yes, you’re right on the first part. ‘马芬’ was written in simplified Chinese. The proper, traditional version is ‘馬芬’ and pronounced as ‘ma fun’. It is indeed the phonetic translation of ‘muffin’. there is no proper term for the English word ‘muffin’ because muffins are not part of Chinese culture.

    ‘馬’ (pronounced as ma) is a horse. ‘芬’ (pronounced as fun) means pleasant smell.

    However, another very similar sounding word ‘糞’ (pronounced also as fun but with a slightly different tone) means ‘poop/manure’.

    ‘包’ (pronounced as ‘bao’) has several meanings . . .

    (a) as a verb, to wrap,
    (b) as a verb, to guarantee,
    (c) as a noun, a bag,
    (d) as a noun, a bun.

    So the Chinese literally means ‘muffin bun’ but obviously it was some guy who unfortunately used voice input into Google Translator and ended up with the catastrophic ‘Horse Manure Bag’.

  16. Peter Chan | 11:04 pm |

    By the way those things look much more like cup-cakes than muffins.

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