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I was recently reading a review of a Spanish-English dictionary that picked "loop" as a good example of a word with many possible translations into Spanish. I looked around and found several possibilities:

  • presilla
  • lazo
  • lazada
  • curva
  • meandro
  • rizo
  • bucle
  • circuito
  • círculo
  • vuelta

What specifically do each of these words refer to, and what contexts would you use it in? Which is the best, generic word for "loop" (essentially, something in the shape of a circle)?

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Add: ciclo ....? –  qPCR4vir Jan 24 '13 at 21:30
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2 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted
  • Presilla refers to a buttonhole made with cord.
  • Lazo and lazada refers to a knot.
  • Curva is a curve (no kidding), which can be understood as a loop depending on the context but is very rare.
  • Meandro is each one of the corners that a river forms, as far as I know is never used to refer to a loop.
  • Rizo and bucle are used to describe a loop in the hair.
  • Circuito can be used, for example, to refeer to a racetrack or an avenue. However, its most common use is for electrical circuits.
  • Círculo corresponds to the geometric figure (circle).
  • Vuelta is a loop around something (like a racetrack, a block, a park, etc).
  • For computational purposes, loop can be translated as bucle or ciclo.

However, depending on the country, all of the above words can have little variations in their meaning, my explanation refers to Mexican Spanish. For the purposes of your question, I would suggest círculo as the most generic word.

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Good answer. I'll add that, at least in Spain, bucle is used in telecom. or electrical engineering as well as computing. For example, local loop would be translated as bucle local, and infinite loop as bucle infinito. –  MikMik Sep 27 '12 at 7:14
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Agree with MikMik, in that bucle is more common than ciclo for loop in software (I'm from Argentina) –  leonbloy Sep 28 '12 at 10:57
    
Gracias, chicos; editado. –  Rojas Azules Oct 1 '12 at 19:44
    
En el cuarto ciclo? En la cuarta iteración? .. eso, iterar, loop. –  qPCR4vir Jan 24 '13 at 21:35
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tambien puede significar ciclo

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