German-Spanish machinery-maintenance verb list
Thread poster: Pablo Bouvier

Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
German to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 22, 2012

One of the difficulties of technical translation from German into Spanish are the machinery-maintenance verbs. I have created a German/Spanisch verb list and would like to know your opinion or better said, I would like to know if you believe it is precise enough. Thanks in advance.

instandsetzen: acondicionar
kontrollieren: controlar
korrigieren: corregir
nachbessern: retocar
pflegen: conservar
reparieren: reparar
überholen: revisar
überprüfen: supervisar
unterhalten: cuidar
warten: mantener
wiederinstandsetzen: reacondicionar

[Edited at 2012-04-23 15:27 GMT]

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Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
German to Swedish
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Supervisar? Apr 22, 2012

If Spanish "supervisar" = English "supervise" (as in, "supervise somebody's work" or "superintend the widget installation"), that's not a good choice for "überprüfen", which usually means something like "check" ("Ölstand überprüfen" - check the oil).

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opolt  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
English to German
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Difficult indeed Apr 22, 2012

Yes Pablo, you're absolutely correct that this is a minefield for Spanish/German translators.

But apart from the list being context-dependent (of course) in general terms, it should be treated as a complete field of meanings/semantics. That is to say, if one of the verbs has a slightly different meaning due to the concrete application at hand or some other factor, one or several of the others should/must change/shift accordingly. This is because many of these cannot be clearly separated from each other, and are often used as (false or semi-)synonyms, or more or less interchangeably.

For instance, "instandsetzen" is often used for "reparar". You'd have to change your translation of "reparieren" as necessary. Plus, "instandsetzen" and "instandhalten" ("mantener") are sometimes confused, or actually represent (almost) the same actions (in real terms).

"Unterhalten" might be translated as both "mantener" and "cuidar", plus "sostener" in some rare cases.

In also agree with Joakim that "überprüfen" might have to be translated differently, e.g. as "comprobar". In other cases it might have the meaning of "inspeccionar" ("to carry out a [visual] check/inspection"). Another translation would be "verificar" in many cases.

In addition, there are different usage patterns in different industries. For instance, you'll be aware that the railway/rolling stock industry (in Germany at least) has its own very peculiar set of expressions when it comes to this topic, such as "Revision durchführen", "überholen", not always with the same meaning as in other industries.

IMHO these things do not work well for dictionaries/glossaries and the like. I'm not sure what the purpose of you list really is, Pablo, maybe you should tell us a bit more what you're aiming at here.

Considering all of the above, in reply to your query whether these terms are precise enough, I would say that they are too precise, due to their nature -- unless you have a very specific context/application etc. in mind.

[Edited at 2012-04-22 19:38 GMT]

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Some most frequently ones Apr 22, 2012

Some other very frequent examples that come to mind are:

- inbetriebsetzen: poner en marcha
- inbetriebnehmen: poner en servicio
- umbauen: reconfigurar/modificar
- nachbauen: instalar posteriormente/incorporar
- abbauen: eliminar (some kind of dirt of deposit, or other things like accumulated pressure or elastic force)
- übergeben: hacer entrega (to the customer)

I do not quite agree with the translations of "instandsetzen"/"wiederinstandsetzen". You cannot really assign a single meaning to these, and writers use them really often to mean "reparar"/"recuperar"/"restablecer". "Warten" can also mean to operate the machine, if it requires operators to take parts in or out of the machine. "Überholen" can also mean to re-generate the machine after a certain period in operation, i.e. replace the consumable/wear parts, etc.

In general, German writers are rather flexible in the use of these words and the context and experience of the translator is most important to create an understandable translation.

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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:20
German to Spanish
+ ...
German-Spanish machinery-maintenance verb list Apr 23, 2012

Vielen Dank alle zusammen für eure nette Hilfe!

Of course, a translation will be context-dependent. I was somewhat confused, cause I often see these words translated as synonims and may be I did not recognise some subtile differences that a german native won't overlook.

The translation for überprüfen was a proposal to difference it from the word prüfen and somewhat conditioned by the conceptual similarity between the words super and über as like with acondicionamiento and reacondicionamiento.

So, the goal was to have some guidance when translating and to try to give a shot to clarity in this "mine-field" as Opolt said. Thanks a lot for share your points of view.

[Edited at 2012-04-23 15:24 GMT]

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German-Spanish machinery-maintenance verb list

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