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What is the difference between "guiar" and "dirigir"? The translation from the English that I want is "guide us in our studies." Should I use guiar or dirigir?

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closed as off-topic by c.p., Emilio Gort, Theta30, Alexis Pigeon, Jose Maria Mar 21 '14 at 6:29

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Welcome! could you tell us which sources you consulted? I think you should provide a translation attempt. – c.p. Mar 10 '14 at 18:22
I think it's better for you look into the dicciononary guiar and dirigir – Emilio Gort Mar 10 '14 at 18:34

I think "dirigir" refers to someone who give you specific directions. As an example, if I say "El trabajo será dirigido por el señor Perez", it means that Mr. Perez will give specific instructions on how to do the work for the enterprise: first workers will clean their hands, then everyone have to check in at entrance, etc. "Guiar" is more like suggesting to someone. Example: "el tutor los guiará durante el proceso". Refers to an advisor who will tell you wich books you "would" read, what exercise you would do to improve your performance. Take a look at the example that guys have written; every example of "dirigir" means someone give specific instructions (policeman is strict on gie instructions like: turn left, stop, etc), Juan manages an advertising company giving instructions to workes who have to do specific task, also who is very independent doesn´t want someone give her/him instructions on how to manage his life, but would accept some suggestions about it, because he/she could or couldn't accept it.

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+1 for explaining the difference between dirigir and guiar – Nico Mar 11 '14 at 20:32

I would translate

Please, guide us in our studies.


Por favor, guíenos en nuestros estudios.

"Guide" is translated into Spanish as "guiar". "Dirigir", however, has multiple meanings that translate into different words in English. Here's a few examples from wordreference:

Es muy independiente; no le gusta que nadie dirija su vida.

S/he's very independent; s/he wants nobody to run her/his life

Juan dirige una empresa de publicidad.

John runs/manages an advertising company.

Un policía dirigía el tráfico en el cruce.

A policeman directed the traffic at the junction.

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I suggest you "dirigir". The spanish dictionary says (

7 tr. Orientar, guiar, aconsejar a quien realiza un trabajo.

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You could say "dirigir una tesis doctoral o un trabajo de investigación" for instance, but that translates into English as "supervise a PhD thesis or a research project". You could say "dirigir un estudio", but again this would translate into English as "conduct a study". – Nico Mar 11 '14 at 20:24
"Conduct a study" is not the same than "Guide a study". "Conduct" means "encaminar" like "my recommendation is to direct to ..." – eruiz Mar 12 '14 at 7:15
I'm more familiar with the meaning listed in wordreference: conduct a study (perform an investigation) = conducir un estudio. For example: La Universidad de Michigan condujo un estudio sobre psicología. – Nico Mar 12 '14 at 7:31
In Spanish "to conduct" is not used as you proposed. Take a look at… – eruiz Mar 12 '14 at 8:36
I don't want to drag the point any further, but at least I want to show that "conducir un estudio" is in use in Spanish: ngram & books. "Conducir un estudio" is a very formal expression that may explain its rare use. – Nico Mar 12 '14 at 11:38

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