Spanish Twins: The fastest way to learn Construction Spanish.


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  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? 


This list of words is 100% Spanish Twins. Spanish Twins are words that are identical or nearly the same in both languages.


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 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….


  1.   Cemento
  2.   Concreto
  3.   Ducto
  4.   Contrato
  5.   Experto
  6.   Defecto
  7.   Plástico
  8.   Producto
  9.   Proceso
  10. Pavimento



This list of 20 can be reverse engineered 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.





Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (, a  training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish language gap in the construction industry. He similblogs these posts at Professional Builder’s Housing Zone.

Categories: Jobsite Leadership

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