What is the best way to translate "bug", as in a misfeature of a computer program or device?

Google translate offers a few options, none of which quite seem to fit, except the term itself:

  • bug → bug
  • error → error
  • bicho → insect, beast, creature
  • fallo → failure
  • insecto → insect

So I used the word 'bug' in a conversation with someone, but they had no idea what I was talking about. Granted, this person was not a techie, but even the least techie of people will understand if I say "My program has a bug" in English.

How can I communicate the same thing in Spanish?

5 Answers 5


"Bug" is quite ambiguous in English, because it refers both to the defects in the software as well as to their manifestations that can be seen in the running program. In Spanish we often use "defecto" for software defects, and "fallo" for their manifestations, i.e. software failures.


I'm afraid there's no good translation for bug in that sense. If you are a computer expert or you speak English you know the English word. Otherwise you talk about un error, defecto, problema o fallo en el programa o en el sistema.

  • 7
    Exactly, among people of the field we normally just say "bug". For non-experts as in the question, this options the most used.
    – JoulSauron
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:09

If you want to tell a non-tech person about a bug in your code, you would most probably want to say: "Hay un pequeño problema en mi programa" o "Hay un pequeño error en mi programa".

I would use the subtleties between "fallo", "falla", "error", "problema"... in very specific context, such as RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety).

If asked, you can always explain where does the use of "bug" come from ;)


The professional community in my country (Costa Rica) uses the word "pulga" (flea). I am not sure if this is customary in other regions, though.


You could translate this as programming failure. However as many english words have been introduced in the Spanish language due to technology many people use and understand this term. "bug". It is also used to refer when a video game has some kind of failure


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