Mos (mooose) wrote in linguaphiles,

'Food aid'

Hey all, thanks again for responding to my 'food' translation request. I got a lot of good stuff out of that. Sorry if I couldn't reply to the posts, there were just so many!

Now I've got another small, but related question - if you were going to write something on a package containing edible matter, i.e. food, that was intended to be delivered into a war zone or an area hit by some natural disaster as part of an emergency relief effort, what would you write on the package to convey the idea that the stuff inside is 'food'?

(Note: I'm fairly certain the word would be accompanied by some sort of  non-verbal sign to indicate a person eating the contents of the package for the non-literate. Would you label it as simply 'FOOD', or would that just look too plain? Of course, if I were on the ground starving it wouldn't matter much to me whether the label was a cartoon of a talking bowl of rice saying, "EAT ME!" or just a single word, as long as I knew it was meant for consumption.)

I asked a German friend of mine if he'd expect to see 'Essen' written on a food aid package and he said the word would be 'Nahrungsmittel'. I then asked a French friend and she said "Nourriture' would work, but 'Aide Alimentaire' would be better. I'm not really sure why it's better although I can see how the labeling would be useful, especially if you're storing supplies and want to separate the food you've packed and set aside specially for the disaster relief operation from the supplies you've set aside for the people managing the operation.

Would anyone be able to tell me what they would expect to see on such packages? I'm thinking particularly of Africa and the Middle East, and languages like Swahili, Arabic and Hebrew to name a few. Of course, all suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance.
Tags: howdoyousay

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