Spanish for Diving

My wife and I have a modest use of the Spanish language that we used this past week in Cozumel, Mexico. It’s always fun being able to interact with locals in their native language.

A big hurdle for beginners is simply learning vocabulary. As such, it is commonly recommended to utilize some sort of flashcard system for learning new words. Many experts, however, recommend a smart flashcard system, like those built around spaced repetition. My personal favorite in this category is Anki, but there are a others out there if you look around. You can read more about spaced repetition at this link.

After learning your first few thousands words, you’ll notice that you need to start learning language specific to the things you talk about. So naturally, as a diver, you will probably want to learn some basic vocabulary about diving. Pretty much any dive destination will have English speakers on the boat with you, but think about how suave you’ll look using the native language. :)

For me, the biggest hurdle in a flashcard system is making the stupid things! I always have a running list of words to learn, but never get around to making the cards. Ideally, cards should not just have an English translation on the front and target language on the back, but when possible have a picture on the front to really cement the abstract concept.

To overcome my own laziness, and to help other perezosos, I’ve made a set of flashcards for common diving equipment and generally useful words that can be expressed by pictures. Rather than go for an exhaustive list, I’ve tried to focus on the common equipment and words that could come up.

I have also included input files for Anki, my spaced repetition program of choice. Just import the text file in the folder and Anki should create the cards for you. These words are Central American Spanish, but should function for most anywhere.

¡Buena suerte!

Scuba diving – el buceo
Dive – La inmersión
To dive – bucear

Diver – El buzo / el buceador
Mask – La máscara
Fins – Las aletas
Snorkel – El snorkel
BCD – BCD (pronounced: beh, seh, deh)
Regulator – El regulador
Wetsuit – El traje húmedo
Booties – Los escarpines
Gloves – Los guantes
Hood – La capucha
Tank – El tanque
Dive computer – La computadora (la compu) de buceo
Drysuit – El traje seco
Logbook – El cuaderno (de bitácora)
Strap – La correa
Weight belt – El cinturón de plomos
Weights – Los plomos

Download the picture / word files at this link.

70 Responses to “Spanish for Diving”

  1. ElChe Says:

    El buceo – it’s something I learned very soon on my first dive trip to the Canary Islands. I love to learn the two most important words (diving and beer) in many languages.:)

  2. Jorge Says:

    In case you to diving in Spain some words change. For example in you use “El tanque” for tank no one would understand, we use here “La botella”. If you refer to Dive computer we use in Spain “El ordenador de buceo”, the rest is the same, and very important after the dive: beer is “cerveza” :-)

  3. johnbartram Says:

    Nice informative Article, Scuba Diving is a stimulating activity and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  4. scubacrowd Says:

    great dictionary!

  5. SilverCrab Says:

    Totally agree with Jorge for the words “botella”, “ordenador” y “cerveza”; for this last one I will give you a very useful word “decobirra” (the beer you take after a dive with your dive buddies).
    You can use the English word “logbook”, most spanish use it. And for BCD you can use “jacket” o “chaleco” too.
    For weights, is quite difusse the word “lastre”, but “plomos” is ok.

  6. Jorge Says:

    That´s right Silvercrab, “decobirra” is really commonly used!!

  7. Chris Says:

    Nice to have a list of words divers may find useful for traveling. I did one recently for people interested in learning a bit of Fijian before visiting Fiji. But I might grab a little inspiration from your post here and do a focused Fijian Dive Language lesson. Cheers and happy blogging.

  8. jameyhsu Says:

    Nice informative Article! I did one recently for people interested in learning a bit of Fijian before visiting Fiji. But I might grab a little inspiration from your post here and do a focused Fijian Dive Language lesson. Cheers and happy

  9. Automatic Dive Watch Says:

    My first language is actually Spanish but I have to say: even I learned some words today that I am a little embarrassed to admit I did not know before. Really, really helpful article for any diver who is looking to take a trip to any Latin American country. Bravo.

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    Hi David, I am not a Spanish but love to learn this language this awesome article is really very helping for starting point of view…thanks for sharing

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  13. Lauren Says:

    Useful tips here! Come check out my blog, great short synopsis on dive sites around the world!

  14. Anna Says:

    I am a somewhat new diver and know spanish at about a 5th grade level. I think this is so useful because I never learn what I want to learn in spanish, I learn what are in textbooks. The only spanish word that relates to scuba diving I knew was bucear so this is very helpful! Thank!

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