In the computer science/programming world, what would be the best way to translate "technical debt"?

The concept is described in Wikipedia as:

Technical debt (also known as design debt or code debt) is a concept in software development that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer.

"Deuda técnica" sounds a bit too literal for my taste, but some other opinions/ideas/suggestions would be very welcome. Is "deuda técnica" the best way to communicate that idea?

3 Answers 3


I think that the literal translation deuda técnica fits perfectly.

Being an IT professional, I didn't know the term, but after reading this definition, I can say that I've experienced it more than once.

Technical debt can be defined as the longer term consequences of poor design decisions

You have to take into account that in software development there is a phase named technical design which is usually translated as diseño técnico (with its namesake documents) and which seems to be the origin of this technical debt

I disagree with @walen, I think that tecnológica is not a adequate in this context.

Let's check the D.R.A.E


  1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo a la tecnología.


  1. f. Conjunto de teorías y de técnicas que permiten el aprovechamiento práctico del conocimiento científico.


  1. f. Conjunto de procedimientos y recursos de que se sirve una ciencia o un arte.

  2. f. Pericia o habilidad para usar una técnica.

As you can see, tecnología and técnica may be synonimous. But in IT usually a tecnology identifies a programming language or a bunch of libraries and the tecnical debt is not directly related with that, I think that it has got more to do with how you employ such technology, how you design a solution.


It is definitively 'deuda técnica', as you can check in different technical works, for example here or here. It is true that normally these technical or business concepts are not translated, and we use the English term, as in briefing, portfolio, scrum manager, etc., but others are translated, as in this case.

Here you can read a good article about the adoption of technological words by RAE.

  • ¡Buena respuesta, indicando casos donde se utiliza!
    – fedorqui
    Mar 21, 2019 at 16:03

I think "deuda técnica" works OK; however, it's true that in Spanish "técnica" is used in a way that is not always associated with technology: falta técnica, parada o escala técnica... In these examples, "técnica" means something like "mandated by the rules".
If you want to avoid this meaning, you can use "deuda tecnológica" instead, which makes it even more clear — while still being close enough to the original (for a non-native to understand you, I mean).

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