Translating for the Kitchen

cook-225x300When it comes to recipe translations, you should have a reputable and reliable culinary source of information at hand so that you might be able to look up suitable vocabulary and gastronomy-related terminology that is faithful to what is used in each language, country or region.

In Spanish, in general, there are a significant number of terms that vary depending on the country or regional “flavor” where they are used, for example:

Palta vs. aguacate (“avocado”), frutilla vs. fresa (“strawberry”), piña vs. ananá (“pineapple”), banana vs. plátano vs. guineo (“banana”), maní vs. cacahuate (“peanut”), durazno vs. melocotón (“peach”), pomelo vs. toronja (“grapefruit”), papa vs. patata (“potato”), choclo vs. millo vs. maíz vs. elote (“corn”), torta vs. pastel vs. tarta vs. bizcocho (“cake”), pochoclo vs. pororó vs. palomitas or rosetas de maíz (“popcorn”), gaseosa vs. refresco or soda (“soft drink”).

Besides names of food items, we also find other words in the culinary jargon that differ in the same language; mozo vs. garzón vs. mesero (“waiter”) and heladera vs. refrigerador vs. nevera (“fridge”)—these just to name a few.

For this reason, it is of utmost importance when translating and localizing recipes or texts related to cooking to make sure that the client specify the exact target audience and the country or region, as there are countless ways to refer to the same product even within the same language.

There are many databases and websites that are especially devoted to providing such information. Professional chefs, home cooks and foodies at large are often part of culinary forums where new topics are posted every day. These specialty sites, blogs and forums run by experts often come quite handy and can help us avoid giving our customer a translation that could turn out to be confusing for the reader.

To read the original Spanish post go to:

“Traducir recetas de cocina”