Spanish (HP?) words


I downloaded a description on how to make a pc-link for an HP48G oneself ( from The Spanish language in it is quite understandable, except for the words oprimida and oprime. The following sentence seems to describe the use of the function keys:

Para Colocar la Computadora en modo servidor debe Mantener oprimida la tecla de funcion derecha y luego Oprime la flecha derecha
Operating the link surely will speak for itself, but still I'm curious what the sentence exactly tries to tell me.

!Hasta replya!


Para Colocar la Computadora en modo servidor debe Mantener OPRIMIDA la tecla de funcion derecha, y luego OPRIMA la flecha derecha

To set the computer in server mode [you] should keep PRESSED the right function key, and then PRESS the right arrow.

(This is an almost word-by word translation, not a styled one)


Thought it was something like that, but strangely, I couldn't find the mentioned words, so I had to make sure.

Thanks, Andrés, for your efforts.


But if you write or talk about about a computer yourself, I would recommend using the word "ordenador" instead of the "Spanishized" English word "computador" or "computadora" which the Central American imigrants here in California call it. I grew up in Argentina but back then computers were not a part of life as we know it, so I don't know what they're calling it there. But I did some work in Spain and when I called it "computador", boy, did they ever jump all over me for that! (It has a bad word in it equivalent to sh__.) It was made very clear I was to call it "ordenador".


Quite funny actually.

Oprima, which has a latin root common to French, gives a French word "opprimer", which means something like to harrass... So you need to Harrass the key to have your calc turned on !


... and not only "computador/computadora" isn't the word actually used in Spain (that's "ordenador"), but "oprima" isn't used as well, the current term is "pulse" (press).

So we say "pulse la tecla" (press the key) not "oprima la tecla" (opress the key), which is some Latinamerican locale.

To me, "oprima la tecla" just about brings thoughts of a poor thing getting (unjustly) opressed and abused by some mean user :-) "Pulse la tecla" is much more like it.

In the same vein, the Spanish term for "calculator", as in "HP calculator" is "calculadora" (feminine), not "calculador" (masculine). So it seems we don't actually use a 'calculator' but a 'calculatrix' ... I'd better stop now ...

Best regards from V.


...and in italian we say "calcolatrice" (feminine, too). The masculine term, "calcolatore", is reserved to computers.

Looks like in the past we used feminine for smaller, more personal, (less capable?), things.

I think I'd better stop here, too!






It's nice to know you grew up here. We use the more "english-like" computador/computadora (even with such particular substring in between); "ordenador" evokes the idea of making order, putting things in the right place.

For sure, in Spain the word is "ordenador"!


Not much to add to Valentin's comments, but it all depends on whether you fancy anglophone or francophone stems for your words, as "ordenador" derives from the french word, "ordinateur" (sp?), whilst "computador" comes from the english "computer". Besides the connotation to "put things in order", "ordenar" is also spanish for "sort", so you can see the connection with computers right there, specially in the early days.



Interestingly, back in the 1950s-1960s, Spanish encyclopedias and other publications referred to computers as "calculadoras," (calculators.) Later "ordenador" appeared. Borrowed or taken from the French? I don´t really know.

Regardless of fancing anglophone or francophone, Spanish is having a hard time catching up with technical terms and jargon, or so it seems to me.

My two cents.


"Having a hard time" is hardly the case. You have two approaches, as follows:

One, like used by the Frnech, is to coin local words for each "jargon" word being introduced, which when it's about computers normally comes from the US, thus "english" (albeit many UK-english native speakers will probably not fully agree with that). Example of this are "logiciel" (for software), and "Memoire morte/vivre" (sp?) for ROM/RAM)

The other is to accomodate for the english words adapting them sometimes by modifying partially their spelling, if at all. This approach "leans" rather than resisting, is more flexible and takes almost no effort to implement, but of course you can always argue that it isn't rigorous enough.

The problem is when this gets out of hand and dubious translations are made for english terms (how do you call "window handle" in Spanish?), but even this case could be just a matter of getting used to the average aception.

Mis dos céntimos.


By all means read (or re-read) the ultimate reference on this topic, namely the chapter "¿Por qué el ordenador se llama así?" in part two of Georges Ifrah's "Historia Universal de las Cifras" (Espasa, 1997 - a combined edition of "The Universal History of Numbers" and "The Universal History of Computing.")



I'm from New York (City); to me that bad word has more to do with some of the people on the street in the shadier parts of town, according to the Spanish (Spanglish?) palavered around here... and I don't think they'd be too interested in HP's scientific calculator offerings...

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