Spanish translation style guide

Use informal Spanish for translation:

  • Informal “you” () instead of formal form usted. Many top software companies (e.g. Google) use the informal one, because it’s much more common in the daily language and avoids making translations look like they were written by machines.

  • Imperative, active, and continuous verbs, e.g. manage streams - gestionar canales, not gestión de canales.

  • Not using reflexive se e.g. log out should be salir, not salirse, whenever the infinitive form is possible without making the translation awkward.

  • Warm and friendly phrasing whenever appropriate.

  • No slang or regional phrases that could be unclear or too informal.

  • Balance common verbs and nouns with specific IT-related translations of English terms - this can be tricky, try to check how other resources were translated (e.g. Gmail, Microsoft websites, Facebook) to decide what wouldn’t sound awkward / rude in Spanish.

  • Latest RAE rule (“solo” should never have accent, even when it can be replaced with “solamente”).

Some terms are very tricky to translate, so be sure to communicate with other Spanish speakers in the community. It’s all about making Zulip friendly and usable.


  • Message - Mensaje

  • Direct message (DM) - Mensaje directo (MD)

  • Group DM - Mensaje directo grupal: many users may not associate “MD” with direct message in a group context, so it’s better to use the unabbreviated form rather than “MD grupal”.

  • Stream - Canal: the use of the literal Spanish word for stream “Flujo” is very confusing and not the correct metaphor for Spanish speaking people. The correct term would be “canal” (channel).

  • Topic - Tema

  • Private/invite-only stream - Canal privado/limitado por invitación: (lit. channel limited by invitation)

  • Public stream - Canal público

  • Bot - Bot

  • Embedded bot - Bot integrado

  • Interactive bot - Bot interactivo

  • Integration - Integración

  • Notification - Notificación

  • Alert word - Alerta: this is only alert. Nonetheless, adding word may make the term confusing (something like danger! could be a “palabra de alerta” as well). Google Alerts uses “alerta” in its Spanish translation.

  • View - Vista

  • Filter - Filtro: as used with narrowing (see below).

  • Home - Inicio: we never use the term “Hogar” (literally home) in Spanish.

  • Emoji - Emoticono (plural: emoticonos)

  • Slash command - /comando

  • Webhook - Webhook

  • Endpoint - Endpoint


  • Subscribe/Unsubscribe to a stream - Suscribir a/Desuscribir de un canal

  • Narrow to - Buscar solo: this translates to search only. We use this term because there’s no other word that’s common enough in Spanish for to narrow except for “filtrar”, but this word can be incorrectly interpreted as filter out. We should stick to a term that we can use unambiguously and consistently for all instances of Narrow to.

  • Mute/Unmute - Silenciar/No silenciar

  • Deactivate/Reactivate - Desactivar/Reactivar

  • Search - Buscar

  • Pin - Fijar (lit. to fixate)

  • Mention/@mention - Mencionar/@mención

  • Invalid - Inválido

  • Customization - Personalización

  • I want - Yo quiero

  • User - Usuario

  • Person/People - Persona/Personas: “personas” is the correct plural for “person”, but when talking of people referring to it as a crowd, we use “gente” instead.


  • You - : also “vosotros” if it’s in plural.

  • We - Nosotros

  • Message table - Tablón de mensajes

  • Enter/Intro - Enter/Intro