Spanish Twins: The fastest way to learn Construction Spanish.

December 13, 2012


1.   Metal 
2.   Material
3.   Plan
4.   Base
5.   Idea
6.   Hospital
7.   Doctor
8.   Vertical
9.   Horizontal
10.  Diagonal
No $3 Ivy League words in this bunch. 
Just a handful of words you might use casually on the jobsite during a typical workday to get things done. 
Yesterday we talked about how easily we learn new words. We are constantly upgrading our vocabulary in an attempt to connect with our kids or get through a Christmas party without looking clueless.  
Since learning new words is in your bag of tricks, learn some Construction Spanish to minimize rework and improve safety. 
So back to the Top 10 list… what’s so special about them
The cool part about this list of words is they are all Spanish Twins. Spanish Twins are words that are identical or nearly the same in both English and Spanish.
Spanish Twins are hands-down the fastest way to build a vocabulary relevant to the jobsite. If you are fluent in English, you already know these words. Now we simply focus on the pronunciation and you’re perfecto.
The words in this particular list are identical Spanish Twins. They are spelled the same in both languages. They mean the same in both languages.
  1.   Metal         (may-TAHL)
  2.   Material     (mah-tay-ree-AHL)
  3.   Plan            (plahn)
  4.   Base           (BAH-say)
  5.   Idea            (ee-DAY-ah)
  6.   Hospital      (oh-spee-TAHL)
  7.   Doctor        (dohk-TOHR)
  8.   Vertical       (bayr-tee-KAHL)
  9.   Horizontal  (oh-ree-sohn-TAHL)
  10.  Diagonal     (dee-ah-goh-NAHL) 
Yeah, you‘ve got some work ahead of you on the pronunciation, but you’ve got 10 more Spanish words in your vocabulary than you did before. 
Want 10 more easy ones?
Have you ever heard someone pretending to know Spanish by simply adding an “O” to the end of every English word?
“Hey-oh can-oh you-oh clean-oh up-oh this-oh mess-oh?”
Well, this isn’t very funny and it can be insulting to Spanish-speakers… but there is some underlying truth to it. There are thousands of Construction Spanish words that are English words with an “O” slapped on the end. 
For example….  
11.  Cemento
12.  Concreto
13.  Ducto
14.  Contrato  
15.  Experto
16.  Defecto
17.  Plástico
18.  Producto 
19.  Proceso
20.  Pavimento
This list of 20 can be reverse engineered very easily to get Spanish-speakers learning Construction English. 
This holiday season, give yourself the gift that keeps on giving (just like your membership to the Jelly of the Month Club) - effective communication enabling the job to get done right the first time. 
El Presidente

Bradley Hartmann is El Presidente of Red Angle, a Spanish language training firm focused exclusively on the construcción industry. Hartmann has been successful improving Safety, Productivity and Profitability by speaking Spanish on the jobsite. Hartmann lived in Guadalajara, México, during his undergraduate studies and later earned his MBA. Hartmann also teaches Construction Spanish at Purdue University’s Building Construction Management Program. He has authored two books: Spanish Twins: Start Speaking Spanish on the Construction Site with Words You Already Know and Safety Spanish: Simple Spanish Skills for Solving Safety Problems. Hartmann would love to hear your thoughts digitally at or at 630.234.7321.


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