Translation into Spanish of "scale" as a verb?

• Jan 25, 2018 - 14:16

The verb "to scale" in Spanish would translate as "escalar", but the accepted meanings are variants of "to climb" (main authoritative sources: Diccionario de la Real Academia Española,|G6TYQPC, and María Moliner's Diccionario de Usos del Español). There is no meaning such as "apply a scale factor".
However, the use of "escalar" as "apply a scale factor" is frequent in technical publications. The question is: Shall we use it freely?


Sorry I am a bit late to comment, but I have just gotten around to reviewing some strings, and the string "Scale:" (#347 in resource MuseScore on Transifex) had me wondering: is the word used as a verb or a noun. I settled on noun, because all the strings around it are nouns. This thread is causing doubt, however, and I would like to know if the string discussed here is the same one I am struggling with (#347 in resource MuseScore on Transifex), and if so, what your motivation was to interpret it as a verb.


In reply to by Louis Cloete

Trying to clarify, "Scale" is used both as a nown and as a verb in MuseScore. As a nown it means a succession of consecutive seconds, either minor, major or augmented. As a verb, it means to apply a suitable factor to adjust uniformly the size of all relevant sizes when changing the line spacing, for instance.

In reply to by fmiyara

You are not clear in your answer. Is the word that you are talking about in the program or on the website? If it's on the website can you give us a page where we can find it. If it's in the program. where can it be found.

I am currently working on translating the handbook and some of the website to Spanish, but I am not fluent in Spanish. I will ask on the Spanish forum to get a correct answer.

In reply to by Louis Cloete

In this case "scale" is a noun meaning a factor relative to the nominal size. In Spanish it translates as "escala". The translation is currently correct. Sorry I forgot to mention this use of "scale" as a noun.
I cannot find right now the example where it is used as a verb, but there is at least one, I think it is somewhere in the Inspector panel of some element. It was that example that motivated my first post, since I was reviewing some string translations and I found "escalar", which in Spanish is a verb (it is also used as a noun meaning "scalar"). In this case, however, it means "to climb", and has no official meaning related to factors or sizes. However, as a neologism is sometimes used, mainly as a translation from English used as a verb, generally in technical writings.

In reply to by fmiyara

"...As a verb, it means to apply a suitable factor to adjust uniformly the size..."

In English, scale in your example is a noun. It means "a suitable factor to adjust uniformly the size..." In English we do not normally say, "We scale the page to a different size..." We would normally say, "We change/reduce/increase the scale of the page..."

I have heard scale used in the sense you are talking about, but as a native English speaker to use "scale" as a verb in the context it is used in this case would be most unusual. If I saw the scale was 90%, I would most likely say "I'm reducing the measure size to 90% (of what is was)." "of what it was" would be understood and not necessary to say.

So in short, Scale is the ratio used to change the size of the measure. In Spanish, is escala the correct word?

In reply to by mike320

These are some strings in MuseScore (the software) that contain "scale" as a verb:

Scale barlines to staff size (1)
Scale Width (2)
Scale Height (3)
Scale to frame size (4)

These and other similar ones can be found at this Transifex URL:…
Clicking on "Context" a hint can be obtained as to where the original string appears)

(1) To be found in menu Style / General / Barlines
(2) and (3) The hint, "...mscore/inspector/inspector_image.ui:195" suggests they refer to images, so I inserted an image and selected it to see the inspector. While it has indeed fields to include W and H factors, the string itself doesn't show. May be it's in the source code as a comment?
(4) To be found in a figure's inspector when the figure is attached to a frame

I must confess that when I reviewed these, I intentionally didn't choose a consistent translation for "scale" as a verb, since in some cases I was able to find a more elegant translation than a direct word-by-word translation of "scale" (English verb) as the neologism "escalar" (Spanish verb). Unfortunately what in some cases works fine, in other cases is misleading.

Anyway, thank you for the insight regarding normal use or not in English of "scale" as a verb. However, I've observed that it is frequent in technical writing. I think this may come from the phrasal verbs "scale down" and "scale up" where the verb gets independent of the preposition.

Finally, I agree that "scale" as a noun is translated as "escala".

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