"Corno" vs. "Trompa" in Spanish

• Feb 8, 2018 - 18:55

Reviewing the instrument list translations I came across the dual name "corno" and "trompa" used in Spanish for the same instrument, the French horn. The dictionary of the Real Academia Española (RAE, the official organization dealing with Spanish language normalization) includes both terms, but it assigns to "corno" the meaning of "natural horn" (an ancient horn without pistons). However, it is known that the RAE is highly conservative and usually lags two or more decades in the acceptance of new terms or meanings, so I also searched the ngram tool from Google and found that "Corno" is slightly more frequent than "trompa" in books. For instance, combined with "concierto" (concerto) I get, for the Spanish corpus:


where it can be seen that "corno" is about three times more frequent.

In many Spanish speaking countries other than Spain, "corno" is preferred to "trompa", for instance in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Perú, Venezuela, Uruguay. The total population of these countries outnumber that of Spain by almost an order of magnitude, so I think "corno" should be the choice.

However, I ask if it is possible to create a default copy of the French horn (or any other case which surely will arise) which allows to bear two names in a given localization, so that both names could coexist. This would be the most inclusive option, if technically feasible.


Under English there are several variations. English (US), (UK) and (AU) so the different terms are stated correctly in each countries "translations". For example, a Bar in the UK is the notes between bar lines. In the US a bar is a place to get a beer or a long piece of metal, but never used of a group of notes. We mostly understand one another when we talk to each other, but MuseScore allows us to read our own idioms. Spanish probably has more variations than English and there should probably be the possibility for translations in Spanish for Spain, Mexico, Argentina etc. in MuseScore. On a related note, as there is a single English forum, there would be no reason to create forums for different variations in Spanish.

In reply to by mike320

Actually there are very few differences betwen terms and ortography across the diferent Spanish-speaking countries regarding music terminology, so it would be an excessive effort to have and maintain localizations for different countries (even if they were only two, Spain and Latin America) for just a few terms. While there are several recognizable differences (in some verb conjugations and a vast corpus of regionalisms), they do not manifest in music terminology. There are also other examples, like "conga" and "tumbadora", that even if they may have originated in regional differences, are used equivalently; the same for "pícolo" and "flautín", and I'm pretty sure that there are examples in English that cannot be explained by US / UK / AU differences. Indeed, there are synonyms whose use is just a matter of preference of the composer, engraver or editor.

My comment addresses other type of issue: the fact that in the instrument list of any localization there may exist synonyms which do not correspond to homologous synonyms in the English version.

We do have en_UK and en_US, and also pt and pr_BR, and even ar, ar_DZ, ar_EG and ar_SD, so no reason to not have es and es_ES and/or es_419 (for Latin America). If there is sufficient demand and someone willing to do the translations.

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