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I would like to find a good translation for the term "blob" as used regularly in computer vision, when describing a rough outline of the tracking element as a result of a segmentation algorithm.

I know blob has a literal translation in "borrón" or "mancha" but these don't quite match the meaning in this case. Also I need a more "scientific" term.


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I am a student of system's engineering in a Spanish speaking country. We use the word blob all the time, there's no translation, the same way we don't translate "CPU" or "byte". – arg20 Mar 9 '13 at 23:42
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Maybe you do not need a translation.

Different usages of the language develop its own private vocabulary (it affects from research, IT and medicine to plumbers and administrative work). In IT in particular, there are lots of loan words from English.

If spanish speaking people in your field widely know and use the term blob, it is better to use it than to try to translate ("un calco") with a mainstream spanish word that does not have the technical meaning that you want.

For example, I would not tell one of my fellow programmers that "esta función devuelve una cadena (o una corriente, o un arreglo)"; I would tell them that "esta función devuelve un String (o un Stream, o un array)". They are more likely to understand me if I use the latter way. Otherwise, when I am out of the technical language, speaking of everyday events, I would tell them that "ayer tropecé con una cadena" y no que "ayer tropecé con un string".

In essence, the fact that a mainstream word from English can be translated in a mainstream word from Spanish does not mean that you ought to (or should) do the translation when using the same word in a technical concept (think of words like "robot" -which means work in hungarian-).

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You are probably right, I was trying to see if there was a suitable translation. I guess I'll stick with blob. – kelmer Apr 14 '12 at 11:03

Si de verdad te refieres al "outline", yo diría:

  • Contorno.

Si te refieres al interior:

  • Partición.
  • Zona.
  • Elemento.
  • Individuo (si dentro de la zona segmentada sólo existe una repetición de algo, y ese algo está o estuvo vivo).
  • Bloque (no me gusta tanto, para la aplicación que dices).
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Es más algo como una superficia inexacta del elemento de interés, realmente es como un manchurrón de la posición aproximada del elemento, pero ese término no es muy científico :) – kelmer Apr 13 '12 at 11:16

Right now, BLOB stands for Binary Large Object, which is a backronym invented by Informix, you can see here, originally the term was used to describe "the thing that ate Cincinnatti, Cleveland, or whatever", which known as "la masa devoradora" in Spain and "La mancha voraz" in Latin America, so I'd say there's not a good translation unless you want to use "mancha" or "masa", so I'd stick to using blob...

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He is asking for blob as a computer vision term, not as a DB term (in which case I would agree with you). – SJuan76 Apr 14 '12 at 10:37

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