Anglicisms, computing and Linux

Spanish spoken

I liked the article by El Tux Eléctrico entitled «Reasons to have our Linux in English«, Those who know me more closely know that I like it and I am quite heavy with spelling, I like the Spanish language and learning to use it, although my writing is not perfect (I'm wrong and I know it) I try to write well and I love it correcting details of others (yes, sometimes I am a spelling Taliban). It is part of my way of being.

Anglicisms have always bothered me, they do not seem reprehensible to me but they are often abused and on many occasions they are used arbitrarily, casting English words that already exist in the language.

What El Tux Eléctrico postulates it's the opposite, postulate that we can summarize (it is not a verbatim quote) in:

Computer science is linguistically English from the beginning, when translating its concepts the meaning is lost and therefore we should use Linux in English, it would make life easier for everyone.

The first is a concrete fact, from the functions of the programming languages ​​to the names of some of the keys are in English.

But then come the problems, if it is about Latin America even more, because the command of another language is the privilege of those who by profession were forced to study it, public education does not offer a level of learning that allows the majority to understand by omission a fully English operating system.

In my personal case I use (curiously) the browser in English and the email in the same language, all this however due to additional features (in the case of email) or location of the repositories and although it is not problematic for me to use them, I would happily use it in Chilean Spanish.


By using a language other than their own, a novice user who does not speak the language can learn to operate a program by heart and completely ignore what "Save Link As" means in the browser, for example. With Linux it is exactly the same, I think about access to information and I think it is important to protect the use of the language and know how to use it to give access to new users and not give them more problems.

If the equivalences they are a problem, it is enough that we use a dictionary: file and file are different words to represent the same thing, what in English is called «fillet«. I do not think that a Spaniard is so confused with a program with translation for Mexico because instead of saying file, the word "file" appears, with a google search or, come on, in a thesaurus, that's it. The geolocation of the programs and systems does not make the systems indecipherable, at least in Spanish, it seems exaggerated to think so.

Easily 80% of computer concepts in English are translatable without inventing neologisms. And why does it seem so important to me? Because using descriptive words and in our language helps users understand how things work.

I give an example with a word that is always used in English but could perfectly be translated:

«Router» -> Router

"Router" sounds abstract, but with "router" you better understand what the device doing the work is for.

«Login» -> Authentication Authentication.

«Performance» -> Performance (: P)

And so. Not, I'm not saying that Linux console commands are translatedIt would be like asking for the personal names of an English to be translated, but it seems to me that the more Spanishized the system is, the better unless the word doesn't even stick as (in the case of LXA!) "bitacorero", we say "Blogger" or "blogger" which is an Anglicism adapted to Spanish morphology and we use it because there is no other alternative.

If people want to learn how to use Linux, let's not complicate it further. By using another language we alienate people from Linux.

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  1.   the anyone said

    Very good article ...

  2.   Mundi said

    Totally agree.

  3.   Juan C said

    Yes, using linux in English will add a bit of complexity to the experience. and if what you want is an operating system to work on and not to learn things that do not interest you, the installation in Spanish is an option that does not give problems.

    Anyway, I understand the point of the tux e., But I think it applies almost only to technical users (computer and similar)

  4.   Raul said

    20 or 25 years ago, during my university studies we made the purchase of study books as a group (to save costs and share the books). But a colleague bought all his books in English.
    Before our request I argue that it was better for three reasons: 1 they are cheaper, 2 are more updated and 3 I do not understand them the same!

  5.   bachi.tux said

    Long live the English Terminal! : D

  6.   Sergio said

    Man but if we do translations, let's do them well.

    Authentication does not exist, it is authentication (you can check it in the DRAE, which by the way I can't link here I don't know why).

    This happens a lot, we want to use Spanish terms and we screw it up. Encryption is not encryption, but encryption. Bizarre is not bizarre, it is weird. And so many more ...

  7.   f sources said

    @Sergio: In that I totally agree with you, in fact I change that word right now.

  8.   vincegeratorix said

    bah ... currently an OS at a new user level XD can be used without knowledge of English ... then if someone wants to know a little more, to be a "user" XDDD then generally there are words that are used in English, as if they were in Spanish , without knowing the translation, but they do mean, example:

    router, switcher, modem, ISP, Windows, cartridge (of printers ... I don't use that word, but my mother and aunt do, although I correct them XD) and so ... sometimes they don't even know that the word is from the US

    the lammers alike .. they use words without knowing the real meaning ...

    and those with more advanced knowledge, or who want to have it, know the words well, with their correct meanings ... then using linux in ing is for computer scientists, webmasters, programmers, and people who want to use their pc more than to offend it and say it is slow XDDDDDDD

  9.   David Fury said

    Very good article. Greetings from Spain.

    By the way, file and file in Spain are used interchangeably. I would have no problem using Chilean or Mexican Spanish.

  10.   Caesar Salad said

    Very good article. LXA! Style example, the reflection.

    And I agree with everyone. For users, it is easier to have their OS in their language. For experts, in the original language.


  11.   anonymous said

    Error in the socket!
    That error puzzled me at first, but it was referring to a socket error when a program could not connect to the network… ..

  12.   ubersoldat said

    According to you, and not only for Spanish, but for all languages. Although there is still a way to go, I think that the translation of Linux into Spanish is very good. In fact, at home I have Linux in Spanish for my wife and daughter, but at work it is in English and I have no problem going from one to the other since everything is in the same place, just the label changes.

  13.   adisvel said

    Hello, I totally agree. In fact I am analyzing the same phenomenon here in Cuba, maybe you can write to me and we will share info. okay?