Among the many things the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence does to help automotive technicians succeed is to stay abreast of changing demographics in the population. At the moment, Hispanics represent the fastest growing segment. For many, English is still a second language, so to help in their transition to our predominantly English technical information, ASE has developed a new English/Spanish Glossary of technical automotive terms.
The translations contained in this glossary represent most, if not all, of the terms a technician may encounter on the associated bilingual certification exams. The “preferred Spanish” translation for each English term or phrase is intended to represent a translation that should be correctly understood by any knowledgeable Spanish-speaking automobile technician, regardless of where their Spanish originates. Given the variations in Spanish from country to country, and region to region, creating a universally understood technical document in Spanish is a substantial challenge.
ASE facilitated the development of this glossary through a series of face-to-face workshops (meetings) using native Spanish-speaking bilingual subject matter experts (SMEs) from around the country. Collectively, these SMEs represented at minimum, Spanish variants from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba; thus representing the vast majority of Hispanics in the U.S. Additionally, other participating SMEs originated from countries such as Spain, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. This project was funded, in part, by a grant under the President’s High Growth Job Training Initiative, as implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.
The glossary was developed to assist ASE with the production of bilingual English/Spanish test forms. However, of equal importance is its availability as a valuable resource to Spanish-speaking test candidates as they prepare to take the ASE exams. In the near future, ASE expects to incorporate these lists into a more comprehensive English/Spanish glossary that encompasses all the current test areas.
Since May, 2005, four Automobile / Light Truck ASE certification tests are being offered in a parallel, English-Spanish format during the traditional Spring and Fall test administrations. Those tests are A1 -Engine Repair, A4 – Suspension and Steering, A5 – Brakes and A6 – Electrical / Electronic Systems. Only the regular certification tests are being offered in this format; no recertification tests are available in bilingual form.
ASE considers the glossary a “work-in-progress” and expects to release updated versions as they are developed. Users are advised to check with ASE periodically for additional releases and updates. Given that the process of translation is not an exact science, and the preferred Spanish was developed in the context of specific undisclosed ASE test questions, the user of these materials must exercise appropriate judgment and linguistic expertise when using the glossary as a resource.
When consensus for a single translation could not be reached, it became necessary to add another translation option in parentheses. For example, caliper was translated to mordaza (caliper). Although most Spanish-speakers would understand mordaza as a brake caliper, it was believed by the SME group that others would only understand caliper.
In addition to names of automotive parts and systems (nouns), the glossary also includes many verbs and modifiers within the context of typical use in ASE test questions. As with English words, their meaning may not be limited to what’s presented. Some terms that were considered fundamental and universal (e.g. numbers, colors, common verbs, articles, etc.) are not included in the glossary.
For more information, or to download a copy of the glossary, visit the ASE website at www.ase.com and look in the Download section under the “ASE Resource Center.”