About Food and Cooking Translation
International Food Dictionary dot Com is a translation and help guide for travelers, cooks, and chefs. It translates foods and cooking terms to and from Amharic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Persian, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese. It also has a recipe translation feature that translates and converts recipe units.
This site has been built out of a love for food and travel. When traveling I’ve found many menu items that were difficult to translate using dictionaries or similar resources. Anyone that has moved to a new country soon develops a craving for foods “just like back home”. But trying to find the right spice or flavoring seems difficult. You may look up an herb, perhaps “moosir” in Farsi, in a dictionary then memorize it and ask for it at the market; only to be shown common green onions rather than Persian shallots.
There are a wide variety of reasons for these errors. Many foods and cooking terms have alternative meanings even if you find them in a dictionary. For example crêpe translates to pancake when going from French to English. However, most would agree that if you could order either in the same restaurant crêpes and pancakes are not the same.
Food words are often ambiguous. Fish names can be especially confusing. Even within a region or country there may be multiple names for the same fish. There may also be differences between nonscientific names for fish and market names. For all of these reasons I’ve tried to go back to the scientific genus species and compare this to the regional name. Still, a given fish may have many names and I’ve tried to given the most common possibilities. This will never be perfect but this is probably the most accurate methodology. References to scientific resource are available if you’d like to pursue more information.
There are also multiple words for many plants. I’ve taken a similar approach and began with the scientific nomenclature. Plant names seem to be more universal and don’t have nearly the confusion found with fish. Still, a fruit may have multiple names, even in a single language, depending on the region.
A Word of Caution: There are many foods, herbs, and chemicals used in food preparation that can be allergenic or even poisonous. Many plants have been listed as foods or herbal remedies that are dangerous or poisonous. Anything listed in this site does not mean it is safe to eat. I’ve tried to note commonly known issues but you should check for anything that you aren’t familiar with.