Saturday’s SF Chronicle featured an interesting article about a woman artist who is collecting Chinese restaurant takeout menus. Check it out at http://www.indigosom.com
My question: Why is it that the English name of so many Chinese restaurants doesn’t correspond to its Chinese name? Queen’s House and Golden Wok in Mountain View correspond to “Money Precious” and “Luck to my House” in Chinese. When my aunt calls me up and tells me in Chinese to meet her at the “Half-Acre” restaurant, I’ll ask her what the name of the restaurant is in English, so I can look up directions on Yahoo. “I don’t know.” If I’m lucky she’ll have their phone number, so I can call them up and find out that their English name is A&J.
Flipping through the yellow pages and looking at some ads unearths the following. . .
Tom’s Chinese Kitchen in Oakland is “Dragon Horse”, symbols of strength. Bamboo Garden in Sunnyvale is “Mongkok”, a district in Hong Kong that literally means ‘busy corner’. On the flip side, China Village in Albany is “Great Lido.”
“Fu Lam Moon” is a very common name for Chinese restaurants. (They usually aren’t affiliated with each other.) They have diferent names in English though, and even if not, they tend to get transliterated differently. It’s Fu Lam Mum in Mountain View, and Emerald in San Diego.