36 Essential Spanish translation resources to empower translation managers and users

September 16, 2011

Approving Spanish translations should not be an act of faith. However, translation buyers are often frustrated by their limited ability to assess, validate and sign off on translation projects with confidence.

The purpose of this blog is to provide access to a wealth of professional resources that will help you review, research, probe and, ultimately, use Spanish translations with greater confidence.

We have asked our English to Spanish translators* to share what they view as the most useful resources when creating professional translations and have compiled a thorough list of such resources.

The team who helped on this project bring to the table a wide range of technical subject matter areas of expertise including engineering, legal, medical, marketing, oil and gas, training and e-learning and come from different geographies including Mexico, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Peru.

We have organized resources in 8 categories:

  • Technical English-Spanish Dictionaries
  • Technical Monolingual Glossaries
  • Regional Usage Help
  • Spanish Language Resources
  • English into Spanish Crowdsourcing Communities
  • All-purpose Spanish Dictionaries
  • All-purpose English-Spanish Dictionaries
  • Other Useful Online Tools

We welcome your feedback! You can use the comments section below to let us know about additional resources you have also found useful.


Technical English-Spanish Dictionaries 

Resource Field Why It Is Useful
Diccionario Autoguias Automotive Comprehensive bilingual technical dictionary for the automotive, equipment and machinery industries
C.A.D. Miles Business Recognized as a primary source for English to Spanish business translations
OSHA Dictionary Construction Official set of English-Spanish disctionaries from OSHA; useful for construction andtechnical Spanish HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) translations
Election Terminology Government Technical bilingual dictionary for government and U.S.-based politically-related terminology
San Francisco Department of Human Services Spanish Glossary Human Services Comprehensive English-Spanish human services glossary
Medicine Plus Medicine Medical English-Spanish service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine
Diccionario Técnico de Mineros y Petroleros Mining Excellent technical dictionary for the mining and oil and gas industries
HUD Dictionary Real Estate English-Spanish dictionary compiled by HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) ; excellent resource for real estate and mortgage-related translation work
Social Security Administration Terminology Social Security Official bilingual Social Security Admininstarion glossary
IRS Glossary of Tax Words and Phrases Taxes Official English-Spanish glossary used in publications issued by the Internal Revenue Service
Sapiensman Various Comprehensive bilingual technical translation dictionary. Provides information on a wide range of technical topics and definitions of key terms in different contexts


Technical Monolingual Glossaries

Resource Field Why It Is Useful
Investor Words Finance An excellent English financial glossary that helps define terms with no equivalence in Spanish
Law Dictionary Legal English legal terms and definitions; helps with non-equivalent terms
Medciclopedia Medicine Illustrated Spanish dictionary of medical terms; also contains limited English translations
Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary Oil and Gas Comprehensive “hands on” English glossary of the oil and gas industry
U.S. Department of Labor – Well Drilling and Servicing eTool Oil and Gas Abridged version of the Dictionary of Petroleum Terms provided by Petex and the University of Texas – Austin. Useful sector-specific English glossary


Regional Usage Help

Resource Region Why It Is Useful
IATE – Interactive Terminology for Europe Spain  The terminology database of the European Union. It allows searches in a wide variety of fields and provides ratings and translation sources; particularly useful for translations such as MSDS and patents to be used in EU institutions and agencies
Mexican Guru Mexico Mexican Spanish translation of slangs; useful for informal content; use with caution; may contain profanity
Argentine Slang Dictionary Argentina Dictionary of Argentine Spanish slang; useful for informal content; use with caution; may contain profanity


Spanish Language Resources

Resource Language Area Why It Is Useful
Study Spanish Grammar, pronunciation Free Spanish resource with tips on grammar, verbs, pronunciation and vocabulary
Word Reference Verb Conjugation Verb conjugation Complete Spanish verb conjugation search tool
Diccionario Clave Collocations; etymology Provides examples, collocations, regional uses, etymology and incorrect uses
FundeuBBVA Correct uses Vademecum section particularly useful to verify correct use of expressions; many additional Spanish language resources


English into Spanish CrowdSourcing Communities

Resource Specialty Why It Is Useful
Proz.com  Live Q&A Experienced linguists answer questions about terminology
Linguee Uploaded terminology “Real life” English > Spanish > English dictionary; translations uploaded by translators and terms translated within different contexts
Word Reference Forum Forum Forum with technical Spanish use topics


All-purpose Spanish Dictionaries

Resource Why It Is Useful
Diccionario de la Real Academia Española de la Lengua Official dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language. Useful to clarify word usage, particularly in the “Apéndices” and “Artículos Temáticos” sections
Word Reference Two excellent dictionaries from English to Spanish: Oxford and Espasa; multi-lingual business dictionary and forum assistance
Free Dictionary Great for terminology definitions; searches can be filtered by subject matter
Diccionario panhispánico de dudas Official site of the Real Academia de la Lengua Española  to solve questions related to Spanish usage


All-purpose English-Spanish Dictionaries

Resource Why It Is Useful
Merriam-Webster Online All-inclusive Spanish-English dictionary and thesaurus
Online dictionaries and encyclopedias Multiple bilingual dictionaries available. “Maria Moliner” dictionary particularly recommended
Foreignword.com Multiple dictionaries; excellent resource for general terminology


Other Useful Online Tools

Resource Area Why It Is Useful
Wikipedia Español Spanish Wikis When used carefully, it’s an excellent way to gain exposure to Spanish terminology of complex topics
Acronym Finder Acronyms World’s largest and most comprehensive dictionary of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms
University of Notre Dame English > Latin > English Latin Useful English > Latin > English dictionary


*We would like to specially thank Ernesto Samper, Nubia Olarte, Paola Nobizelli, Elias Sauza, Maria Sanchez, Maria Gutierrez, Julia Gomez Saez and Teresa Jimenez for their support and contributions to this post. It is a pleasure working with such a professional group at Translation Source! Photo provided by toolstop

If you would like additional information on this topic or have questions on planning and executing your next translation or multilingual initiative, contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation or call us at (800) 413-7838.

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