How do I say “coarse-grained” in Spanish? The closest thing that comes to my mind is “a grandes rasgos”, but that isn't terribly precise gramatically: “coarse-grained” is an adjective, whereas “a grandes rasgos” is an adverbial phrase. In any case, it doesn't sound right to my ears to translate:

A concurrent object is a data structure shared by multiple threads in a shared-memory multiprocessor. Classical implementations [of concurrent objects] use coarse-grain[sic] synchronization.

(Source: This academic paper)


Un objeto concurrente es una estructura de datos compartida por múltiples hilos de ejecución en un multiprocesador de memoria compartida. Los objetos concurrentes se implementan de manera clásica usando sincronización a grandes rasgos.

It's a little bit funny, a native Spanish speaker asking how to translate something to Spanish that he can easily say in English...

  • 1
    I think many people have trouble finding terms in their own language for technical terms which they understand well in English. No need to beat yourself up about it.
    – mdewey
    Jan 15, 2017 at 21:10
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    The same thing happens to me but in the opposite direction. Inevitably, certain terms we learn in another language are very precise (or, at times, nicely extra broad), or have certain allusions that don't exist in our own, and it can be thus be very hard to translate in certain contexts. Jan 16, 2017 at 0:58

2 Answers 2


El concepto de base es la granularidad del proceso, de manera que ahí es donde hay que buscar. Podría ser sincronización de granularidad gruesa o de grano grueso. Ninguna de las dos suena muy bien pero es comprensible y es literal, por lo cual alguien que nunca lo leyó en español puede retraducirlo mentalmente al inglés sin problemas.

A grandes rasgos no es apropiado porque es figurativo y no sugiere nada al lector que no sabe cuál es la expresión original.

  • Answered in Spanish because obviously, but I can translate if someone's interested.
    – pablodf76
    Jan 15, 2017 at 19:49
  • Hurgando en el diccionario, encontré que “escueto” es antónimo de “detallado”. Hasta qué punto es abuso de lenguaje considerar “detallado” sinónimo de “fino” (“fine-grained”), no sé...
    – pyon
    Jan 15, 2017 at 20:56
  • De las alternativas que sugieres, “de granularidad gruesa” es definitivamente la que suena menos mal, pero molesta que uno tenga que saber lo que quiere decir en inglés para comprenderlo en español.
    – pyon
    Jan 15, 2017 at 20:59
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    Yo usaría sincronización burda, tosca o basta como antónimo de sincronización fina
    – Jdamian
    Jan 15, 2017 at 21:54

coarse, medium or fine grain, are terms used to express the roughness of sandpaper, rasps, files, grinders, or any other abrasive tools.

In this context (computer science, synchronization) coarse-grain refers to granularity of data locking in a multithread environment.

The granularity is a measure of the amount of data the lock is protecting. If the lock protects a great amount of data, then it's Coarse. If the lock protects a small amount of data, then it's Fine.

Granularity may be translated (again, in this context) as Granularidad and it may be fino, medio y grueso.

So, answering the OP, translating coarse-grain in this context as grano grueso is correct and widely used.


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