Casa Construction
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Access English-Spanish audio clips from the Casa Construction text below! Comment and ask questions related to specific topics.

0.0 Basic English and Spanish for Construction

Casa Construction Explanation

Good communication on-the-job site is crucial to any construction project. Construction in North America today is a bilingual industry, however most people aren't bilingual. It is important to bridge the language gap in order to have a successful construction project. Costly problems can stem from a simple miscommunication. This book Casa Construction aims to teach people in the construction industry the Spanish or English they need to better communicate, and better their construction knowledge.

English-speaking construction superintendents and contractors can use the book to learn construction Spanish to better explain tasks and communicate problems with their Spanish-speaking workers. Spanish-speaking workers and contractors can use the book to learn English related to their job and better communicate with English-speaking clients, contractors, and supervisors.

Casa Construction is much more in depth than an English-Spanish dictionary of construction terms. The goal for the reference manual will be to outline each step in the building construction process in an easily referenced bilingual format.

The book should provide explanation of all aspects of the building construction process from initial permitting and surveying, through finish work. Key terms will be explained in English and Spanish, and common problems and solutions in each process will be explained through real-life examples. The format of the book will be such that odd-numbered pages will be written in English, while the even-numbered page next to it will read the exact same in Spanish. Careful manipulation and translation of the text in both languages will be done in order to provide a nearly exact, and easily referenced translation. For a list of the proposed chapters to be covered in Casa Construction, Exteriors, view the column to the left.

How is this book used?
The reader should be able to read and understand a concept in their own language, and then be able to correspond the explanation of the same concept in the foreign language on the page and location directly opposite. For additional help in understanding key terms, bolded words on each page will be used to indicate a direct translation.

For example:

An English line for specifications regarding wood framing might read:

An exterior wall should use treated wood for the bottom plate.

The reader should see on the opposite page in Spanish the following:

Un pared exterior debe usar madera tratada para el plato bajo.

The reader can easily determine that pared=wall and madera tratada=treated wood.

Other words like "plato bajo" and "usar" can be easily interpreted from their location in the sentence and their context.

Useful diagrams to explain certain concepts with English-Spanish corresponding labels will be used throughout the reference manual.

Web references in both languages will provide additional reference for detailed tasks. For example, the book may state basic guidelines, precautions and vocabulary for installing a septic tank, but a full guide on sizing, and installing septic tanks and leach fields can be found at: www.thenaturalhome.com/septic.html, or in Spanish a useful site is: www.epa.gov/owm/septic/pubs/xguiadeldueno06-06.pdf

By providing WWW reference for detailed of tasks, readers have an easy starting point to continue learning about more specific topics.

Casa Construction vs. an English-Spanish Dictionary
By outlining of processes as well as explaining and translating terms, the reader has a better chance of effectively communicating with workers of the other language, and has an easier time actually learning the language if he or she desires.

An English-Spanish dictionary may provide a translation for reinforced concrete: hormigón armada. But that's probably not enough information for an English-only speaking supervisor to effectively tell a Spanish-speaking rebar tier to make sure he is placing the rebar in the form where it has adequate concrete cover around it. By providing a fully translated tip in the section regarding foundation construction this concept and others can be more easily explained. For example:

Advice for concrete footer installation:

1. Ensure that the footer is low enough below finish grade to protect it from from frost.

2. Ensure that the soil has been compacted and approved by a geotechnical engineer prior to placing concrete.

3. Keep a minimum of an inch and a half of concrete cover around all rebar.

Consejos para la instalación de la base de hormigiòn:

1. Asegurese que la base de hormigiòn sea suficientemente por debajo el nivel de tierra final para protegerlo de la helada.

2. Asegurese que el suelo esta compacto y aprobado por un ingeniero geotécnico antes de poner hormigón.

3. Mantenga un mínimo de una pulgada y media de hormigón alrededor de todas las barras.

This side-by-side example of English text with an opposite page of Spanish text illustrates how easily keywords can be cross-referenced and understood. Of course a good English-Spanish dictionary can be used in conjunction with this reference manual to clarify the exact definitions of certain words.