Take the 2-minute tour ×
Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Aparentemente no hay una traducción exacta del frase inglés "college dropout" ... la mejor que podria encontrar es "estudiante que abandona la universidad antes de graduarse", cual me parece inelegante.

Hay un mejor frase idiomatica que puedo utilizar? O simplemente es que los del mundo español son mejores estudiantes que los que hablan inglés?

Apparently there's no exact translation of the English phrase "college dropout" ... the best I could find is "estudiante que abandona la universidad antes de graduarse", which seems inelegant to me.

Is there a better idiomatic phrase I could use? Or is it simply that people in the Spanish-speaking world are better students than English speakers?

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

No sé si es formal, pero recuerdo que en México a veces dicen "desertor universitario" (RAE). Tal vez puede usar frases como, "Ella dejó la universidad" o "Él abandonó las estudias de la universidad."

I'm not sure how formal it is, but I remember people in Mexico saying, "desertor universitario" (RAE). Maybe you could use phrases like, "Ella dejó la universidad" or "Él abandonó las estudias de la universidad."

share|improve this answer
add comment

Although you do not mention in what context you want to use the expression "college dropout", i guess that you make reference to 1. the grammatical subject that would describe the general fact/situation that one/more students abandon their college level studies or 2. the actual quantity/speed/rate to which the process named "college dropout" occurs.

If the idea you have in mind is somehow similar to the following:

1. The growing inaccessibility of college, and the huge dropout rate, "is eroding the American Dream and weakening our nation's ability to compete,".

2. "here's no single reason why America's dropout rate is so abominable, but here are some factors.".

3. "hold colleges and universities more accountable when they have high dropout rates".

Then i would suggest to use one of the following translations:

the College dropout ....... la deserción universitaria.
the College dropout rate .. la tasa de deserción universitaria
the Dropout ............... la deserción
the Dropout rate .......... la tasa de deserción
College dropout ........... deserción universitaria.
College dropout rate ...... tasa de deserción universitaria
Dropout ................... deserción
Dropout rate .............. tasa de deserción

As a side note, the subject "deserción" derives from the verb "desertar", which means to quit or give up.

share|improve this answer
Sorry, it seems I wasn't as clear as I thought: "college dropout" is an idiomatic English expression meaning "a person who failed to complete their studies at Univerity". –  Zero Piraeus Feb 17 '13 at 18:53
... for example, "Mark Zuckerberg is a famous college dropout". –  Zero Piraeus Feb 17 '13 at 18:59
Well, in regard to the Mark Zuckerbergs example or any other person which one would call a "college dropout", the correct term would be: "desertor universitario". "Mark Zuckerberg es un famoso desertor universitario". –  Knoretae Feb 17 '13 at 19:56
Deserción (escolar o universitaria) es la palabra correcta, o al menos las más extendida en estos casos en la mayoría de países. También se suele utilizar el término fracaso escolar. En España se suele usar "abandono". Parece que no hay una forma concreta para referirse al alumno. –  JoulSauron Feb 17 '13 at 21:50
Pienso que deserción is too literal and not very idiomatic. I prefer the term abandono escolar. But that's just me. –  Joze Feb 18 '13 at 10:19
add comment

La verdad, no creo que las personas que hablamos español seamos mejores estudiantes. En mi experiencia, el término más usado es "no se graduó de la universidad", o más coloquialmente "no se graduó de la U". A veces, se utiliza el término "bachiller", para referirse a alguien que solo se graduó de secundaria, y no terminó una carrera universitaria.

Que yo sepa, no existe un término específico en español que equivalga al "college dropout" en inglés.

Honestly, I don't think that the Spanish-speaking world are better students. In my experience, the term used mostly is "no se graduó de la universidad", or more colloquially "no se graduó de la U". Sometimes, the term "bachiller" is used to refer to somebody who only graduated from high-school, and didn't get a college degree.

To my knowledge, there is no specific term in Spanish that would be equivalent to "college dropout" in English.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.