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The word "background" does not seem to have an equivalent in Spanish. What would be the translation of the following phrases:

He has a background in computer science.
She has a background as a teacher.

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In that context, background means "conocimientos" or "experiencia".so "He has a background in computer science" can be translated to "Tiene conocimientos de informática".

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This was going to be my recommendation. Might you also say "educación en"? – McArthey May 23 '14 at 14:33
I don't think this would be incorrect, but would sound a bit less appropriate than "educación en" (at least in spanish from Spain) in this context. – Roberto May 23 '14 at 17:39
Definitivamente no diría "Tiene conocimientos de informática", background connota bastante mas que haber dado una clase de MS Office. – Dane411 Sep 28 '14 at 16:23
Entonces diría "he has a background in MS Office", no? :-). El problema en este caso (offtopic) es lo devaluado que está tener conocimientos de informática. si sustituyes "conocimientos de informática" por "conocimientos de física cuántica" la cosa tiene mucho mejor pinta... pero entiendo tu razonamiento. Si los conocimientos son muchos, puede ponerse un calificativo a background (a serious background, o algo así). – Roberto Sep 29 '14 at 11:31

I would say "to be experienced at (tener experiencia en)" or "to have a history (tener un historial)":

El tiene experiencia en ciencias de la computación. Ella tiene un historial como profesora.

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The best word for this translation is "Trasfondo"

He has a background in computer science - "Él tiene un trasfondo en informática."

She has a background as a teacher - "Ella tiene un trasfondo como profesora."

Although options commented in other answers are also correct.

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I would also go with "transfondo" as a general translation to background. – pHonta May 27 '14 at 21:17
@pHonta "transfondo" is not correct, according to RAE the correct acception is "trasfondo". – Bardo May 28 '14 at 7:59
Yep, it's a not-so-used spelling.. this is the link to the accepted spelling: (see for the "transfondo" spelling in a lesser dictionary) – pHonta May 29 '14 at 19:44

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