could also mean ‘my confessor’ (the one who listens to my confession in a church).cara m’anama
would be a possible more literal translation for ‘my soulmate’, literally ‘the friend of my soul’, but it is not a popular idiomatic phrase in Irish.
You can read on the Geeky Gaeilgeoir
blog what’s wrong with *mo anam cara
, and what are the alternatives.
If you look for a translation of ‘soulmate’, some possibilities, from the ones listed there, are grá mo chroí
(love of my heart) or mo chéadsearc
(my primary love) or mo shíorghrá
(my eternal love) for a romantic ‘soulmate’, or mo dhlúthchara
(my close friend) or cara m’anama
for a non (necessarily) romantic one.
As for the original question about the difference – one could say the first, *mo anam cara
, is bad Irish, as it uses Irish words; while the second, *mo anam charaid
, is bad Scottish Gaelic, as it’s equally ungrammatical, but uses Scottish word for ‘friend’, ie. caraid