Spanish-English Dictionary

By Diane Dennis

A Spanish-English dictionary is an absolute must-have for construction contractors because the ability to speak, and understand, Spanish with your non-English speaking workers/employees is critical.

The guy in the picture above ... if he speaks only Spanish would you be able to communicate the proper fall protection equipment he must use if he's higher than 6'?

If he were installing the materials incorrectly, in such a way that it'll eventually fall (whether during the construction phase or after the building is occupied), would you be able to communicate to him the proper way to install the material and how to avoid those things that would damage the integrity of the installation?

How would you tell him that he absolutely must take his breaks, and when to take those breaks, in order to keep yourself out of trouble with the various governing agencies?

There are several barriers when it comes to workers who speak only Spanish...

  • You can't communicate safety (risking injury and death to your workers - Spanish and English speaking both)
  • You can't communicate the proper way to perform tasks/jobs (if something isn't installed properly then again you're risking injury and death to your workers but also to anyone who should be in/on the property after the project is complete)
  • You can't communicate the two to three breaks they are legally allowed and required to take every day, how the lunch hour/half hour works, what the proper working hours are, etc. (you are responsible for making sure your employees take their legal breaks and turn in their proper time; if you don't then you can be in violation of the law)

For daily, simple communication on construction sites a simple Spanish-English dictionary can fill the gap - and quite nicely too!

Below are some English to Spanish to English construction dictionaries that are available through Amazon. Many are designed specifically for construction workers and contractors that need to communicate in Spanish.

If you have a dictionary that you like, or if you find another besides the ones listed above that you like, please do let me know and I'll post them here as well. :)

Please use the comment box below to let me know what you think about the books above and to let me know of others that you're aware of.

Thank you!

For more detailed communication such as safety to avoid falls, accidents, injuries, and death you'll need construction employee handbooks that are in Spanish and English.

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