My title contains some bits of useful information. While I’m not absolutely certain some sources say peces is the plural of pez. Of course in English the plural of fish is fish so peces seems relatively uncommon. pecado also translates to fish BUT the key difference is that pescado is the piece of fish on your plate and pez is the living animal.
I let Google Translate loose on my previous “mystery” post and it had three types of results: 1) a few of the words translated correctly, 2) some translated but to nonsense, and, 3) some were missed altogether. I’ve tracked a few of the latter.
My big list of words (with cognates or loanwords removed to avoid giving a clue) was a lengthy list of the names of fish, probably as they are called in Spain. I found two long lists on the Net with Latin (scientific names) as well as names in English, Spanish and some other languages. Both were European sources so less likely to include fish found primarily in South America, but who knows how lists get compiled.
Plants and animals from natural world (versus cultivated plants/animals) are frequently misidentified and very tough to get accurate common names. Sometimes even the scientific names are in dispute or contradictory so big surprise the more colloquial names are. After all who but ichthyologists, some fisherman and a few fish mongers actually know these names accurately and/or could just by looking at a fish decide what to call it.
So this is probably the toughest area to compose an accurate Iberian Spanish to English translation list. I’m going to have a third post in this series about the names I conclude are fairly likely but for now here’s a subset of the list from the mystery post that Google failed to translate at all.
|alfonsino||Golden eye perch|
|badexo||Lythe or pollack|
|brotola de roca||Greater forkbeard|
|chicharro||scad – also called horse mackerel|
|chincharro||Horse mackerel or scad|
|choupa||Black bream or porgy or seabream|
|cigala||crawfish||Norway lobster – also called Dublin Bay prawn|
|colin||Coley or saithe|
|côngrio||conger eel||conger eel – also called conger|
|escolano||smelt – also called sparling|
|espadilla||frostfish – also called silver scabbardfish|
|espadín||sprat||sprat – also called brisling|
|lanzon||sandeel – also called sand lance|
|longeirón||razor clam – also called razor shell|
|maganto||Dublin Bay prawn or langoustine or scampi|
|mendo||Witch or Torbay sole|
|muergo||razor clam – also called razor shell|
|musola||smooth hound – also called dogfish, flake, huss, rigg|
|pejerrey||silver side, sand smelt||argentine – also called silver smelt|
|pejesapo||angler fish||Anglerfish or monkfish|
|quisquilla||shrimp||prawn – also called shrimp|
|salton||sandeel – also called sand lance|
The left column is the Spanish (with at least one spelling error, don’t know which (chicharro chincharro) is actually correct). The middle column is the few that the Oxford dictionary recognizes. And the third column is from one of these two sources (here and here) which I originally used to compile the list (I found a third list with scientific (Latin) names but didn’t originally use it and haven’t (yet) processed it). I’m a bit surprised Google missed the names that are in Oxford as I’ve encountered some of these in other places.
Now note that even with some of the Spanish names “translated” there are bunches of fish on this list I don’t recognize and I suspect few people would. So probably only a small subset of this list (the names Google didn’t recognize, not the full list) would ever appear on menus.
The two longer lists, with scientific names, seemed to potentially be the most accurate lists but I’ve found others at some other websites. The trouble with these is the names may not relate to Spain and may be from other Spanish speaking areas. This is a very common problem trying to find and merge and consolidate lists from the Net. In addition what is the level of authority of anyone who provides a list – rarely is that known and I see enough mistakes in almost any list to shed some doubt on the accuracy of the information. But all that said I’ll be trying, in the next post, to produce the largest and most accurate list from the raw material I can find.
So stay tuned for the final result.