5 Spanish – English mistakes that can lose you marks

Common ITGS mistakes

Yesterday I covered three common IT mistakes that students make. Today I am covering common language mistakes which can cost you grades. Don’t assume the examiner will speak Spanish and understand your mistake – they probably won’t.

1. Asistir vs Assist

Asistir in Spanish means to attend in English, not to assist. There is a HUGE difference between saying somebody “He uses tele-learning to attend the class” and saying “He uses tele-learning to assist the class”. I have seen students make this mistake in exams with dire consequences.

2. Elaborar vs Elaborate

The English to elaborate is not a good translation of elaborar. In English, to elaborate means to explain something in more detail. Make, create, or manufacture are a better translations, depending on the context.

3. Sensible vs Sensitive

The best translation for the Spanish sensible is sensitive, not sensible. So in ITGS we talk about sensitive data, not sensible data! (In fact, sensible data may make sense in English, but in the context of data validation, so you risk really confusing the reader). Or you could play it safe and say personal data.

4. Propaganda vs Propaganda

This word is the same in both languages, but has slightly different meanings. In English, propaganda is usually considered to be political in nature and biased in viewpoint. If you are talking about a company, it is better to say advertisements than propaganda.

5. Mil vs Million

Remember that mil is one thousand, not one million. I have seen this misused in specification questions when are you asked to state the amount of storage or similar in a computer.

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