Irish Language Blog

Gluais don Oideas “Arán Sóide” (A Glossary for the Irish Soda Bread Recipe, with pronunciation guide) Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Irish Language

(le Róislín)

Some of you may have tried the recent recipe for Irish Soda Bread which appeared in this blog (nasc thíos).  If you’re fairly new to the language, the following might be helpful:

First, the word “oideas” itself.  This word can appear in many contexts, with several different meanings (instruction, teaching, recipe, and prescription).  If having the same word for “recipe” and “prescription” strikes an English speaker as unusual, I could simply point out the following examples in various languages.  Which languages specifically?  Do you recognize any of them?  The answers are sa nóta — i nGaeilge, just for a little extra dúshlán [doo-hlawn]:

1) Rezept (recipe, prescription)

2) receita (recipe, prescription)

3) recetë (recipe, prescription)

4) recept (recipe, prescription)

5) resep (recipe, prescription)

and similarly, though a bit more clear-cut

6) receta (recipe) and receta medica (prescription)

Bottom line: context rules!

Now let’s look at some of the vocabulary specific to the soda bread recipe.  First, some foods:

bláthach [BLAW-hukh, or just blawkh], buttermilk

briosca,  cookie, biscuit (in the UK/Irish sense, not in the American context, where sourdough “biscuits” might be eaten with gravy)

císte [KEESH-tchuh], cake

donnóg [DUN-ohg],  brownie (the chocolate baked treat)

fíor sinséir [feer SHIN-shayrzh], gingerbread man or gingerbread woman

giosta aráin [GYUS-tuh uh-RAW-in, with the “g” hard, as in the English “gules” (and no, not as in “Giles,” which has a “soft g”); the more typical examples of the English hard “g” (girl, get, etc.) are close but don’t capture the “yuh” sound that immediately follows the “guh” part of the word “giosta“], baker’s yeast, lit. “bread yeast”

glónra [GLOHN-ruh], glaze

subh [suv], jam

And next, some miscellaneous vocabulary:

adhmad [AI-mud, with the “ai” as in English “eye” or “aye” or “I” and as in IPA usage /ai/], wood; adhmaid [AI-mwidj], of wood

barraíocht [BAHR-ee-ukht], too much

comhábhar [KOH-AW-wur], ingredient

cruth [kruh, silent “t”], shape (as a noun)

de dhíth [djeh yeeh, with a slight breathy “h” sound at the end of “dhíth;” the “d” and the “t” are silent in “dhíth” and the “dh” is really a “y” sound], needed, lit. “of need”

fad m’eolais [fahd MOHL-ish], as far as I know, lit. “length of my knowledge”

milis [MIL-ish], sweet (adjective)

mionghearrtha [MIN-YAR-huh], chopped (verbal adjective, not the past-tense verb)

oigheann [OY-un, silent “g”], oven

rómhilis [ROH-VIL-ish], too sweet

róthrom [roh-hrum, silent “t”], too heavy

táirge [TAWRzh-uh-gyuh], product

So that’s a sampling of some vocabulary from the recipe blog.  Hope it helped for some newcomers.  And hope some of the vocabulary proved interesting for more advanced learners, since there are a few words, like “baker’s yeast” and “glaze” that might not be quite on the “beaten track” of everyday vocabulary.  SGF – Róislín

Nóta, based on some pocket dictionaries I have to hand plus a little help from Google Translate:

1) Gearmáinis; 2) Portaingéilis agus Gailísis; 3) Albáinis; 4) Ollainnis;  5) Indinéisis; 6) Spáinnis

Ultimately, it would be interesting to look further at what languages distinguish specifically between “recipe” and “prescription,”, and which ones have the same word for “recipe” and prescription” but where it’s not based on the Latin “recipere,” which appears to account for all the examples above, even as far afield as Indonesia.  It’s interesting to note that Irish uses the same word (oideas) for “recipe” and “prescription,” but it’s not part of the “recipere” family, with its offspring as cited above (receita, recept, recetë, resep, Rezept).  Bia don smaoineamh, nach ea?  Food for thought, isn’t it? Or, as might be said in central Pennsylvania, “Food for thought, hain’t?”

NascOideas i nGaeilge: Arán Sóide Éireannach, agus Aistriúchán Béarla (and an English translation) Posted on 11. Dec, 2014 by in Irish Language (

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