Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 10:00:49 -0700
Reply-To: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Alan Hall <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: SUMMARY: Spanish translation of term "MSDS"
Comments: To: amachado**At_Symbol_Here**FC.UP.PT


"Ficha" or "Fiche" (in French) could be used (meaning, largely, in 
several languages, "Files")  -- these terms are used in IT (Information 
Technology) uses.  An interesting discussion as we had some years ago on 
translations of a large series of databases that could be used to 
construct MSDSs in various languages.  And another with a French 
Canadian company (what's the difference between French (Parisian), 
French (Quebecois), and French (Martinique)?) on "auto-MSDSs" in a 
various languages MSDS software generation program.  There's still a 
place for humans in the link!

As noted, Puerto Rican Spanish is not Border Mex-Tex is not even Border 
Spanglish (El Paso-Cuidad Juarez vs Brownsville-Matamoros), is not the 
Spanish of Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, y muchas otras payes.  And 
when with my Border Mex-Tex I lecture in Barcelona or Madrid, I THINK 
they understand me, but my pronunciation is perhaps to harsh.  Its not 

In Portuguese, well, most of mine is "Modern Brazilian Portuguese" 
although I've severed for a time in Lisboa, so I will bow to your 

Seems, though, that for most payes hablan Espanol, Hoja wins out.

The bottom line is, if the worker understands and knows what to do when 
"cacahuete occurio", then we've won.

Alan H. Hall, M.D.
"El Medico Paseo/Correodor"
Toxicology Consulting and Medical Translating Services, Inc.
Laramie, WY
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: amachado**At_Symbol_Here**FC.UP.PT 
  To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU 
  Sent: Thursday, June 21, 2007 4:57 AM
  Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] SUMMARY: Spanish translation of term "MSDS"

  "Ficha" is the usual word used in portuguese to name this type od 
  document - for
  this and similar purposes.

  Adelio ASC Machado

  Quoting antonio rodriguez 

  > I don't recall seen the word "ficha" as a synonym for "hoja" in my 
  > previous post.
  > I have never used "ficha" in the sense of "hoja", but some people in 

  > Puerto Rico, perhaps from other latin american countries, use it for 

  > the English word "file": like, for example: "personnel file" or 
  > "dental file."  Many Puertorricans used the aglicized, word "record" 

  > for "file," instead of "ficha." Of course, a more appropriate word 
  > for "file" is "expediente."
  > But, of course we know "ficha" quite well as every piece of a domino 

  > set is a "ficha" and playing dominoes is a Puerto Rican national 
  > pastime.  If you have been at a casino you also know what a "ficha" 
  > or "chip" is.
  > "Ficha" is also used  when you chastise someone by saying: !Qu=E9 
  > de ficha t=FA eres! or !Qu=E9 mala ficha tu eres! What kind of a 
  > cheat" you are!
  > It turns out that "ficha" is also a versatile word, like "hoja," but 

  > not in the same sense, at least for me.
  > Antonio Rodriguez
  > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Emmert CLEVENSTINE" 
  > To: >
  > Sent: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 12:21 PM
  > Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] SUMMARY: Spanish translation of term "MSDS"
  > The exchange on this topic has been very enlightening to a US 
  > expatriate non-speaker of Spanish who is occasionally involved in 
  > chemical safety data sheet compilation and has grown used to seeing 
  > the word "fichas" applied to them in Spanish in Europe. (See for 
  > example or 
  >, or the EU guide to 
  > data sheet preparation at 
  > Is "ficha" known in the New World, and if so, in more or less the 
  > same sense as "hoja"?
  > Emmert Clevenstine
  > ILO retiree, Gex, France
  >> Message du 19/06/07 18:14
  >> De : "ILPI"
  >> A : DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
  >> Copie =E0 :
  >> Objet : [DCHAS-L] SUMMARY: Spanish translation of term "MSDS"
  >> I'd like to thank everyone for the public and
  >> non-public responses to this question.
  >> The general consensus is that "hojas" is a much
  >> better word that "pliegos" in this instance. As
  >> far as the entire phrase goes, there a few
  >> similar wordings; see below.
  >> Here is my original post followed by the public
  >> and non-public responses I received. I will pass
  >> this information along to the manufacturer with a
  >> recommendation that they update their binders.
  >> Thanks VERY much, once again, to everyone for
  >> their efforts.
  >> Best wishes,
  >> Rob Toreki
  >> Original post:
  >> At 6:02 PM -0400 6/18/07, ILPI wrote:
  >> >We are distributors of bilingual MSDS binders
  >> >(among other products). The front of the binders
  >> >say MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS in English, and
  >> >in Spanish.
  >> >
  >> >A Spanish-speaking (potential) client called
  >> >today and said he did not recognize the word
  >> >"Pliegos" which, from a web search, I determined
  >> >is a valid Spanish term for "sheets". He
  >> >seemed concerned that his hundreds of
  >> >Spanish-speaking employees (they are a farming
  >> >company) wouldn't understand it either. The
  >> >word "hojas" might be a better match.
  >> >
  >> >Not to rely on foreign translation on the web,
  >> >but a search on the exact term PLIEGO DE DATOS
  >> >SOBRE SEGURIDAD DE MATERIALES returns only one
  >> >match at Google whereas the same term with HOJA
  >> >substituted for PLIEGO returns 706.
  >> >
  >> >I've already sent an inquiry to the
  >> >manufacturer. I've also asked the client to run
  >> >the word pliegos by some of his employees.
  >> >
  >> >My question for the list is this - are there any
  >> >native Spanish speakers here who can comment on
  >> >the nuances of "hojas" versus "pliegos" and
  >> >whether or not the latter term is likely to be
  >> >recognized correctly by non-professionals who
  >> >read/speak (Mexican dialects of) Spanish.
  >> Responses in chronological order. I have
  >> withheld names from responses received via
  >> private email.
  >> I will add my own response/summary/assessment first:
  >> After posting my question, I remembered that we
  >> have an English translation of the Mexican MSDS
  >> regulation, NOM-018-STPS-2000, posted on our
  >> comprehensive MSDS web site. See the
  >> link/discussion in our MSDS FAQ section
  >> for
  >> that. Correlating that translation back to the
  >> original documents available on the Mexican
  >> government web site, MSDS corresponds to "Hojas
  >> De Datos De Seguridad"; see
  >> I also found MSDS's from Mexican manufacturers
  >> that use "Hojas De Datos De Seguridad De
  >> Materiales", for example
  >> In concert with the helpful replies from the list
  >> members, I'd say these two wordings are the best
  >> "short" and "long" versions of the phrase.
  >> >The ACS Committee on Chemical Safety translated SACL to Spanish. 
You will
  >> >find "Material Safety Data Sheets" translated as "Hojas de 
Seguridad" in
  >> >SACL. The document was reviewed by many different Spanish 
speakers. Your
  >> >translation looks like a direct translation to Spanish. Having 
  >> taken 7 >years
  >> >of Spanish classes, I can tell you many terms are not directly 
  >> >Lo paso bien tells a Spanish speaker you had a good time but is 
  >> >translated to I passed it well.
  >> >
  >> >Our Spanish SACL is available online at:
  >> >
  >> >AAfter working on safety issues several years in my country Mexico 

  >> I can >say
  >> >that the most adequate translation of MSDS is "hoja de datos de 
  >> seguridad >de
  >> >los materiales".
  >> >We use the world "pliegos" for a kind of documents that are 
  >> down >big
  >> >and fold sheets. I am sure that for workers would be better to 
  >> >and use the word "hojas" instead of pliegos.
  >> >In addition, the occupational regulations in my country name MSDS 
  >> as >"hojas
  >> >de datos de seguridad". Therefore. if you use this terminology you 
will >be
  >> >in according with regulations.
  >> >I hope this could be useful for you.
  >> >This is a great question in the greater sense of what is the 
  >> >colloquial term in any language. Also the specification of the 
dialect >(my
  >> >neighbor is Argentinean and often comments on the different usage 
  >> >"Spanish").
  >> >
  >> >Since you originated the issue, I think it a great contribution 
for you >to
  >> >suggest to the Division leadership for the CHAS website to be a 
  >> location >to
  >> >accumulate these terms in all the languages of the world. A great 
  >> >from the ACS, and one with lots of curiosity factor!
  >> At 8:56 PM -0400 6/18/07, Eng. Winston R. Esteves wrote:
  >> >My native language is Spanish and I'll take "Hojas" over "Pliegos" 
100% >of
  >> >the time. We refer to MSDSs as "Hojas de Datos de Seguridad de 
  >> >Materiales".
  >> >That is what we use as translation in all of our trainings.
  >> >
  >> >Winston R. Esteves
  >> >PE, DEE, QEP, CHMM
  >> >Environmental Consulting Associates
  >> >Phone 787-790-7931
  >> >Fax 787-790-7989
  >> >Cell 787-644-5684
  >> >Hi. I am spanish speaking and I think the term
  >> >"Hojas de Datos sobre Seguridad de Materiales"
  >> >is more adecuated for us spanish speakers,
  >> >although "pliegos" is used too, depending of the
  >> >country.
  >> >
  >> >I understand what is a MSDS, but the translation
  >> >is difficult, since it would seem in spanish
  >> >that the safety is refered to the materials and
  >> >not to the people working with them. The class I
  >> >took in spanish about safety was called "Hygiene
  >> >y Seguridad Industrial".
  >> >
  >> >Then a better approach could be "Hojas de Datos
  >> >para Hygiene y Seguridad" , or "Hojas de Datos
  >> >sobre Materiales".
  >> >I hope I did not confuse you more, but spanish is really tricky.
  >> At 7:49 AM -0500 6/19/07, Medina, Javier wrote:
  >> >My native language is also Spanish and hojas is a better used of 
  >> >word in this context. Pliego would be utilized better in the 
  >> >and publishing industry. Rob Toreki, if you need any further 
  >> >with chemical name and/or toxicological name translation just 
e-mail me
  >> >directly.
  >> >
  >> >Javier Medina
  >> >Chemist/CHO
  >> >Office 915-587-3688
  >> >Javier.medina**At_Symbol_Here**
  >> At 9:19 AM -0400 6/19/07, antonio rodriguez wrote:
  >> >Like Winston Esteves, I prefer the word "hojas"
  >> >instead of "pliego," but both may be used.
  >> >
  >> >In Puerto Rico, I am used to the term "pliego"
  >> >always in reference to "bid documents", seldom
  >> >in other uses, most of them in legal circles.
  >> >
  >> >You may have a wider perspective if you look at
  >> >synonims for both words, from which you will see
  >> >the versatility of the word "hoja" and the
  >> >limited but perhaps more precise meaning of the
  >> >word "pliego". Please note that I added a single
  >> >English word. within brackets, to convey the
  >> >main meaning of each list.
  >> >
  >> >Diccionario de sin=F3nimos y ant=F3nimos =A9 2005 Espasa-Calpe 
S.A., Madrid:
  >> >
  >> >hoja
  >> > a.. hojuela, p=E9talo, br=E1ctea, fronda, verde [leaf]
  >> > b.. plancha, l=E1mina, placa, chapa [sheet]
  >> > c.. folio, cuartilla, p=E1gina, pliego, plana,
  >> >carilla, impreso, op=FAsculo, escrito [page]
  >> > d.. hierro, acero, filo, espada, cuchilla, pu=F1al, navaja, sable 
  >> >
  >> >
  >> >Diccionario de sin=F3nimos y ant=F3nimos =A9 2005 Espasa-Calpe 
S.A., Madrid:
  >> >
  >> >pliego
  >> > a.. folio, hoja, papel, cuadernillo, documento, nota, formulario 
  >> [document]
  >> >
  >> >
  >> >A. Rodriguez, PhD, PE
  >> At 9:28 AM -0400 6/19/07, Nabil Bissada wrote:
  >> >
  >> (which translates MSDS as Hoja de datos de seguridad).
  >> -- 
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