“Hippoglossus hippoglossus & chips twice please, luv” / Clupea harengus schon wieder?

The Bild Zeitung (August 18th 2004)
(via BILDBlog)

bq. Deutschlands Fischhändler brauchen jetzt ein Lateinlexikon!
Der Grund: Laut einer EU-Verordnung (Fischetikettierungs-Gesetz) sollen Fische mit ihren lateinischen Namen ausgezeichnet werden.
Erste Fischhändler haben schon auf die Sprache der alten Römer umgestellt (Pflicht ist das nur für Großhändler).

follows the Sun (September 5th 2001), quoted at

bq. Chippies could be forced to sell fish by their ancient Latin names – thanks to the craziest European ruling so far. If barmy Brussels bureaucrats get their way, baffled Brits will have to ask for hippoglossus hippoglossus instead of plain halibut. … Takeaways, restaurants, fishmongers and supermarkets are all set to be BANNED from using names that have been around for centuries.
The Sun, 5 September 2001, page 3

bq. Fact:
Claims that the EU is planning to ban the English names of fish and force retailers to replace them with Latin names on food packaging are completely untrue. The European Commission has proposed clearer labelling on the packaging of fish products to ensure that consumers are properly informed about what they are buying. Labels would include the exact name of the fish, how it was produced and where it was caught.

Euromyths is a lovely site, with a Glossary of Eurosceptic beliefs and a Keyword index of Euromyths (some of which are about banning corgis, curved bananas, straight cucumbers, the egg that dare not speak its name, and a 75ft. milk pipeline for Caerphilly cheese).

The equivalent German site has EU-Mythen of relevance to Germany.

Translators know, of course, that you can’t get far in translating the names of fish – or plants, or insects, or birds – without pinning down the scientific name.



4 thoughts on ““Hippoglossus hippoglossus & chips twice please, luv” / Clupea harengus schon wieder?

  1. As a EU enthusiast in Blighty, I have had occasion to make use of this before, of course.

    It doesn’t always work though, because the account of a something given by Eurosceptics is often garbled to the point where the original referent (if any) is unrecoverable. Sigh.

  2. Can’t find it ATM. Norwegish(!) I can find, but not Swedish.


    Oh yes I can, but their website is clinically retarded, so that link probably won’t work.

    Swedish web design is amongst the worst in Yoorp, for sure, and they’ve pessimised it so aggressively I can barely read the content.

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