Carpentry Into Tagalog - A Welcome Challenge

To translate carpentry handouts into Tagalog, a carpenter can provide the actual words used in his field. For a particular translation assignment, we consulted a carpenter at work. Here are his answers to some of our semantic problems:

  • grout - "pampasak sa pagitan ng tiles"
  • adhesive - "pangkapit sa tiles"
  • leveler - "pampantay ng tiles, lubid, tale" 
  • crown molding - "Yung ikinakapit sa kisame para di makita ang dugtong" (Roughly - That which is placed on the ceiling to hide the splice).
  • chair rail in the middle of a wall - "Pansangga sa dale" (Protection against a hit). The word "dale" is interesting, but it is Batangas dialect and not "Manila Tagalog" as the client specified. 

Sample Text: "When you are covering a span that is longer than your molding, splice two pieces together with a scarf joint. Lay the molding with its back flat against the bottom of the miter box or the bed of the power meter saw. On one piece, cut through the face at 45 angle so the edge of the cut is visible from the front. On the second piece, cut through the face at 45 angle so the edge of the cut is hidden from the front. The joint should meet over a wall stud or some other point where it can be nailed." On one piece, cut through the face at 45 angle so the edge of the cut is visible from the front. On the second piece, cut through the face at 45 angle so the edge of the cut is hidden from the front. The joint should meet over a wall stud or some other point where it can be nailed."

When it comes to the different kinds of saws:

  • hacksaw - "panlagareng precision, halimbawa kung ang lalagariin ay di lalampas sa kahoy, may stopper sa likod" (precision saw, example, if what to saw should not go past the wood boundary, there's a stopper)
  • miter saw - "mas maliliit sa hack saw, gamit sa mga furniture para eksakto ang tabas, espesyal na lagare na may miter box" (smaller than a hack saw, used in building furniture that requires exact miniature cuts, special saw that has a miter box)
  • hand saw - "karaniwang lagare" (common saw)
  • power saw - "de-motor na malaking-malaking lagare-hindi portable" (very big non-portable saw that uses motor or power), etc.

Saws have precision blades. "Talab na 60 or talim na 60" is teeth 60.

Easy Category Phrases :

  • wood putty  - "masilya"
  • plinth  - "maliliit na stick"
  • wood block - "pangkalso"
  • filler stick  - "panlagay sa gitak o kawang o agwat"

Difficult Category Phrases

  • color washing  (carpenter thinks, scratches his head, looks up in the sky)
  • stucco (carpenter looks at us with irritation)  
  • stippling (carpenter ignores us completely and proceeds with his work)

 Most Difficult Combinations:

  • bead of caulk "Wala Tagalog dyan" (No Tagalog for that)
  • scarf joint - "Ano?" (What?)
  • wood composite moulding - "depende kung anong hugis, halimbawa, sasabihin ng panday, 'Moldehan mo yan ng pabilog…" (Depends on what shape, example, the builder will say, mold it into a circle…)

Google these phrases and find a match or look it up in the dictionary, but there will be no exact equivalent, nor interpretation. To solve your translation problems, ask a true-blood, carpenter who speaks Tagalog. He will have vocabulary for his tools and methods. But don't expect that those will be exact equivalents.

Site Build It!