Have you ever found a really interesting looking recipe that you really wanted to try then realized that it was written in a language not your own? We compiled some of the cooking and baking terms in Spanish translated to English. I hope these will help you with that difficult recipe so you can expand your cooking skills and try new recipes.
Here we have some cooking and baking terms. I’m sure there are many more but these are sure to help you when you try and follow a simple recipe.
a continuación – next
a punto de nieve – until stiff
agregue/agregar – add/ to add
al horno – baked
al gusto – to taste
albahaca – basil
albardilla – batter
amargo – bitter
amasada – mashed
añada/añadir – add/ to add
añadirlas – add
apagar – turn off
baje/ bajar – turn down/ to turn down
barbacoa – barbecue
batidora eléctrica – electric mixer
batir – to whisk
blanda – soft
caldo – broth
chaucha – vanilla bean
chorrito – dash
claras de huevo – egg whites
cocer al horno – bake
comedor – dining room
congelado – frozen
congelador – freezer
cortado en cuatro – quartered
cortar en cuadritos – dice
cuajar – curdle
cucharada – spoonful
cucharadita (cdta.) – teaspoon
cucharones – ladles
cuélelo – drain, sieve
derretida – melted
derrita/ derretir – melt/ to melt
deshebrar – to shred
dore/ dorar – brown/ to brown
enjuague/ enjuagar – rinse/ to rinse
entibiarse – room temperature
escaldar – scald
escoba – broom
escurrir – drain
espesar – to thicken
estofado – stew
exprimido/ exprimir – squeezed/ to squeeze
fregadero – kitchen sink
gabinete – cabinet
gaseosa – bubbly water
glasear – glaze
guarnición – garnish
hacer – puré
hasta que espese – until it gets thick
hervir – to boil
hervir – to simmer
hidratos de carbono – carbohydrates
hierba – herb
horno – oven
jengibre – ginger
jugoso – juicy
laurel – bay leaf
lavaplatos – dishwasher
libras – pounds
los demás – the rest
manteca vegetal – vegetable fat
mexcla/ mixclar – mix, mixture/ to mix
migas de pan – bread crumbs
mitad – half
molidas – crushed
molido – ground
nuez moscada – nutmeg
olla – saucepan, pot
papel de aluminio – aluminum foil
parrillada – barbecue
pedacitos – little bits, small pieces
pedazo grande – wedge
pelada/ pelar – peeled/ to peel
pequeños trozos – small pieces
perejil – parsley
pezado – piece
ponga/ poner – put/ to put
precalentar – to preheat
pulverizado – ground
punto de ebullición – boiling point
puré – puree
quemadas/ quemar – burnt/ burn
rallado – grated
rebanadas – slices
rellena – filled, stuffed
remojada – soaked
remover con energía – stir briskly
remover – to stir
revuelva – stir
rociando – basting
rodajas finas – thin slices
romero – rosemary
romper a hervir – to start boiling
saltear – sauté
sancochadas – boiled
sartén – frying pan
sazonar – season with salt
sazone/ sazonar – season/ to season
séquelos – dry them
siga removiendo – keep stirring
tapados/ tapar – covered/ to cover
taza para medir – measuring cup
taza – cup
yema – egg yolk
Names Of Things In Nature / Nombres De Las Cosas En La Naturaleza
Here you will find the names of trees, flowers and animals in Spanish. Some things in Dominican Republic have names that are different than other Spanish speaking countries. Also, how to use animals traits to describe people and the sounds animals make in Spanish.
A very important Dominicanism to remember is the word vaina. If you do not know what something is just point at it and say la vaina / the thing. This can cover up for many unknown words!
Trees / Árboles
*Almendra – Almond trees. These trees can get quite large and produce a single fruit inside of a flour type bud.
*Almacigo – Mastic tree
*Arce – Maple
*Avellano – Hazel
*Caimito – Star apple
*Cajuil – Cashew
*Caoba – Mahogany tree. This tree is the National Tree of Dominican Republic
*Cedro – Cedar
*Cerezo – Cherry tree
*Flamboyant/ Framboyan – Flame Tree or Royal Poinciana. This tree flowers in late spring/ early summer and is very beautiful with its bright red umbrella of flowers.
*Guasábara – Species of cactus that grows in the barren zones of the Dominican Republic
*Higuera – Fig tree
*Ardilla – Squirrel
*Cabron – a large male goat
*Cacata – tarantula-type spider (picture and information about the cacata)
*Chinchilín – blackbird
*Chivo – goat
*Cocuyo or Cucuyo – firefly, lightning bug
*Gallina – chicken
*Huron – ferret
*Mono – monkey
*Paloma – Pigeon
*Pavo – turkey
*Peje, Pecao – fish
*Viralata – used to describe a mixed breed dog, and the way they search for food. “Living out of the can”
*Zorrillo – skunk
Using animals traits to describe people
*Burro – (donkey) a gross person
*Conejo – (rabbit) someone whose front teeth are large or missing
*Jirafas – (giraffes) women who excel because of their high stature
*Leon – (lion) a person who always wants to solve a problem by fighting, using fists
*Gallo/ Gallito – (rooster) a person who always wants to solve a problem by fighting, using fists
*Liebre – (hare) a person that cannot be caught when he flees
*Perro – (dog) one that does not have morals and lacks education
*Puerco – (pig) person with bad hygiene
*Pulpo – (squid) type of person that wants everything to be the way he wants it to be, grabs for all of life
*Ratón – (mouse) someone that is of small build
*Rata – (rat) low person without morals or values
*Toro – (bull) person with great force and resistance, bull-headed
How Animals Talk / Cómo los Animales Hablan
Remember the song Old McDonald Had a Farm (The Spanish version is called El Viejo Juancho Tenía Una Granja is on the bottom of this page)? Well, in Spanish the animals make different sounds. Yes, animals living in Spanish speaking countries also speak Spanish. Even though when hearing a Spanish speaking animal make their given noise the sound is the same in my ear, when it hits a Spanish speaking person ear, I guess, the sound is different. The person who’s eardrums are intercepting the sound interprets the animal talk into their own language.
One really never thinks of an animal speaking a different language until you are confronted with it. When in Dominican Republic try calling a cat or dog the way you usually call them. They will ignore you completely (unless you have food that is). They are probably laughing at you inside their little animal heads!
Remember, the little lip popping, kissy sound one makes to call a dog in one country can (and does) mean Attack! in Dominican Republic. A cat will ignore you completely if you call it as you would in English but as soon as you say misu, misu it (may) then pay you attention. I wonder what Doctor Doolittle would do…..
*Bee – English = bzzzz / Las abejas hacen en español (the bees say in Spanish) = bzzz
*Bird – English = tweet tweet / Los pájaros trinan hacen en español de españa (Spain) = pío pío, Argentina Spanish = pi pi
*Cat – English = meow / El Gato ladra hace español = miau
*Chick – USA English = peep peep / British English=cheep cheep / Español = pío pío
*Cow – English = moo / Las vacas mugen hacen en español = muuu
*Crow – English = caw / Español = cruaaac, cruaaac
*Dog – English = bow wow, arf, woof, ruff ruff / El perro ladra hace español = guau guau or wow wow
*Donkey – English = hee-haw / Costa Rica Spanish = iii-aah, iii-aah
*Dove, pigeon – English = coo / La paloma hace en español = cu-curru-cu-cú
*Duck – English = quack quack / Los Patos hacen en español de españa (Spain) = cuá cuá / Argentina Spanish=cuac cuac
*Frog – English = ribbit / Spain Spanish = La rana croa hace encruá-cruá / Argentina Spanish = berp / Peru Spanish = croac, croac
*Goat – English = baaah / El chivo hace en español = bee bee
*Hen – English = cackle and cluck / Español = coc co co coc
*Horse – English = neigh or whinny / El caballo relincha hace / Colombia Spanish = iiiiou / Paraguay Spanish = ioohoho / Peru Spanish = iiiiii / Spain Spanish = híiiiiiiiii
*Owl – English = hoo / El búho hace en español = uu uu
*Pig – English = oink oink / El cerdo hace en español = oink-oink
*Rooster – English = cock-a-doodle-doo / El gallo canta hace / Spain Spanish = kikirikí / Argentina Spanish = ki-kiri-ki
*Sheep – English = baaah / Las ovejas balan; hacen / Spain Spanish = bee / Argentina Spanish = meeee
*Tiger – English = grrrrrr / El tigre hace Spain Spanish = grgrgrgr / Venezuela Spanish = gggrrrrrrr
(my little joke – Tiger – Dominican person speaking in English “Hey BABY”! IE: definition of a tigre in Dominican Spanish is a person who is a womanizer)
El viejo Juancho tenía una granja (Old McDonald Had a Farm)
translated by Paola Ferate-Soto
El viejo Juancho tenía una granja, iai, iai, oo.
Y en su granja tenía un marrano, iai, iai, oo.
Con su oink, oink aquí, con su oink, oink allí,
Aquí oink, allí oink, en todos lados oink, oink.
El viejo Juancho tenía una granja, iai, iai, oo.
The rest of the verses continue:
Vaca: mu, mu
Pollito: pío, pío
Caballo: neigh, neigh
Oveja: bee, bee
Perro: guau, guau
Gato: miau, miau
Pato: cuac, cuac
Funny and interesting sayings, proverbs, maxims, adages and terms used by our Native Dominican Speakers in their everyday conversations. Many of these sayings and words are very difficult to understand but when you finally get the idea they can be quite funny.
When you use these idiomatic expressions in Dominican Republic make sure you pronounce them like a Dominican and be sure you are able to laugh at yourself. This way people know you are making a joke so you are not taken the wrong way. In time, you will know more of the Dominican way and will be talking in true Dominican style.
*A buen hambre no hay pan duro – (When you are really hungry no bread is too hard to eat) Where there is a will there is a way.
*A caballo resaldo no se le mira el diente – Never look a gift horse in the mouth
*A falta de pan, casabe, dice el pueblo. – (When there is the lack of bread, eat cassava, said the people) Make do with what is available.
*A la brigandina – to do something fast
*A paso de tortuga – (Walks like a turtle.) When someone is too slow.
*Abrir gas – (Open gas.) To run away. Full throttle.
*Acostarse con las gallinas – (Lying with the chickens.) To go to bed at the same time as the chickens. Go to bed very early.
*Amarrando la chiva – (literally means roping the goat) To do nothing when you are supposed to be working, because roping a goat is too easy
*Amarrar los perros con longanizas – (Tie dogs with sausages) To be very naive and give away opportunities to the enemies.
*¡Ay, mi madre! – (literally Oh, my mother! ) An exclamation to mean “oh man!” or can also mean like Wow! sort of a surprised expressive remark
*Caerle a la conga – (literally Playing the drums) To jump on someone intending on beating him up
*¿Cómo e’tamo’? – country way of saying ¿Cómo estamos? How are we today?
*¿Como ‘ta la cosa? – How’re things?, How’s it goin’?
*Conocer al cojo senta’o – (Literally, Recognize the cripple, even when he’s sitting down.) To know someone’s intentions when they haven’t told anyone. (updated by Rachel)
*Cuando cuca bailaba – When people refer to the good old days. When they talk about the old times.
*Curarse en salud – To practice prevention even before there is a problem
*Date brillo cadenita que tu mojo llega – Shine now for your day will come
*Despues de la excusa, nadie se queda mal – After the excuses were given, everybody got along fine
*E’ palante que vamo – We are going to go forward (election campaign slogan)
*E’ pa’ fuera que va – Out it will go (election campaign slogan)
*El carro quedó debaratao’ – When a car receives a violent hit
*El que anda con perro a ladrar aprende – He who hangs out with a dog will learn how to bark
*El que quiere moños bonitos tiene que aguitar halones – (literally: If you want nice hair you have to pull it tight) If you want something you need to work hard for it.
*Entrar a comer ojos – to go – Between a rock and a hard place
*Es mejor andar solo que mal acompañado – Better to go alone than to keep bad company
*Eso lo sabe hasta la madre de los tomates – (Everyone knows even the mother of the tomatoes.) Everyone knows it,
*Estoy entregado en ……….. – like saying “I am up to my eyeballs in ___ (something-fill the blank).
*Gallina vieja da buen caldo – (Old hens make a good broth.) To express that a mature woman has more experience and that adds to their sex appeal.
*Hacerse el chivo loco – (Become the crazy goat.) To play dumb and unaware. To be irresponsible.
*Ir por la sombrita – To walk in the shade of a tree
*La mama de Tarzan – used to describe a something cool or a good looking person
*La piña está agria – (literally: The pineapple is sour.) When something is difficult (dura)
*Llegó la lú – (Here come the lights!) What is said when the electric service comes back on.
*Lo agarraron asando batatas – (They caught him roasting sweet potatoes.) He got caught with his pants down
*Lo que va, biene – (What is going, comes) What goes around comes around
*Má caliente que una vieja metía en fiesta – Hotter than an old woman on a party mood.
*Me da grima. – It scares me
*Me hizo plancha – when a person does not go to something that they committed to.
*Me llevó el diablo -(literally: the devil took me) I am damned
*Me tienen en un tirijala – when someone says I’ll see you soon or I’ll soon be there.
*Ni con Dios ni con el Diablo – Neither with God or the Devil
*Ni fú ni fá – when something is congested or stuck, you can’t move forward or backward
*Niágara en bicicleta – to overcome many problems, to go over the waterfalls on a bicycle. It is also the name of a song by Juan Luis Guerra (updated by Rachel)
*No Dar Un Golpe – not to deliver an attack or not to work
*No hay problema. – No problem
*No’ vemo- (Nos Vamos) – I’m gonna go.
*Nunca digas de esa agua no beberé – (Never say from that water I will never drink) Don’t say you will never do something because you may have to do it someday. You may regret those words someday.
“Un clavo saco otro clavo” (literally meaning “one nail raises another nail”). Used when you have a hangover and need another drink to make it better. “Hair of the dog that bit you” is the equivalent in English.
*Pa’ seguida – right away; immediately
*Pajaro de cuenta. – People will call you this if you are not a very trustworthy person. Tamaño pajaro – this is even less trustworthy than the first.
*¡Por la maceta! – Very good; excellent; great!
*Probando e que se guisa – By trying is how you will know
*Que aperidá. – Used when something is amazing
*¡ Que Leche ! – If you win at the lottery or get a really good job you say this. Sort of like saying you’re in the cream now.
*¿Que lo Que? – the same as ¿que pasa? What’s up? What’s happenin’?
*Saber más por viejo que por diablo – To say that old age gives wisdom
*Sacar los pies – to move away, get away from a person
*Se fue corriendo – (literally went away running) to run fast, go full throttle, fast
*Se lo llevó quien lo trajo – sort of like you brought it upon yourself. When someone has a big problem the response is this, ( you made your bed now sleep in it)
*Si dios quiere – God willing. Not necessarily religious. I think its used just in case what was planned to happen doesn’t, then the person feels they can always use it as an excuse, “God didn’t want it to happen”
*Si la vaca ha venden por libras, porque comprar la vaca entera?- If you can buy the cow by the pound why buy the entire cow? (referring to having a woman for the night or for always)
*Si tomas Brugal tú resuelve o peleas. – If you drink Brugal (rum) you either fight or have sex.
*Ta que echa chi’pas – (literally throwing sparks) means being angry.
*Te llamo pa’ tras – (in true Spanish-devolver la llamada) I will call you back
*Te conozco bacalao, aunque vengas disfrasao-I know you even if you are in disguise, “you can’t hide your intentions from me”
*Te subi lo vidrio – (Literally:shut the window) when you’ve had enough talking to someone or when you don’t want to hear them you shut the window on them.
*Tengo un arranque encima – to be in a bad economic situation
*tililí-tililí – repeating the same thing or story over and over
*’Toy feo pa’ la foto – (exact translation – I am ugly for the picture) things can’t be worst for me
*Tu eres muy jediondon y delicagao -You are very hard to please
*Tu ta como un aji picante -You’re mad as hell
*Tu ta’ pasao -“you have really crossed the line now!” more of a warning that a fight was about to break out. (added by Rachel)
*Tu ta’ muy quitao de bulla – What you call a person that is carefree
*Vamo hacer un coro – “Lets get together and hang out”
*Vamo pal pley – Let’s go play. Refers to baseball the “pley” is actually what they call the baseball field.(updated by Rachel))
*Vamos a Ver, quisas ahorrita – (Lets see, maybe later) when a Dominican really does not want to do something but they really do not want to say no.
*Yo estoy chivo con eso – “I’m doubtful about that”, to doubt something.
In an interview with one time President Hipolito Mejia the president was told “Bread has gotten too expensive” Hipolito’s answer “Man does not live on bread alone, eat platano and yuca”. “Somos un pai de come ‘platano”
Leonel Fernendez campaign slogan – “E’ Pa Fuera Que Van” – “And ahead/ forward we go” _____
Have a Dominican Slogan or image placed on T-Shirts, Womens tanks, boxers, g-strings, sweatshirts, mugs, baby clothes, hats and even dog size clothing. If you like you can even make your very own design and it can be placed on an item. Or buy an already designed item. If you want Dominican Republic related items do a search for Dominican Republic and there are pages of items. Check them out.