The Word on the Street Is . . . “Crudités”

Montreal Translation SyllabusLast week I was hosting a dinner party with a bunch of my West Coast friends. For an app, I set out a scrumptious plate of fresh-cut carrots, celery, broccoli, and peppers. As I placed the tray on the dining room table, I said with flair, “Crudités, anyone?”

The group of anglos looked at me like I had lost my mind or said something incredibly dirty. Then I got it. I was simply speaking in a language they didn’t understand. As much as Montreal anglos sprinkle their speech with French terms as though they were salting a bland meal, most West Coast Canadians don’t speak French beyond the odd “merci” and “bon appétit.”

I promptly cleared my throat and, feeling much less classy, muttered, “Veg and dip, anyone?” My oh-so anglo expression was met with smiles of understanding.

“Crudités” (from the French adjective “cru”, meaning “raw”) translates bluntly as “raw vegetables,” “fresh-cut veggies,” “veg and dip” (as long as there is actually dip!), or “veggie platter.”

If you come across the term in a translation, be sure to think of your audience. If you’re translating a menu aimed at the upper crust, “crudités” will be much appreciated. If the restaurant is dishing up pub grub, however, opt for one of the more anglo utterances.

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