I found entries for businessman-empresario and businesswoman-mujer de negocios. Which is most commonly used in Spanish?

Posted by sfrenchie 7/12/12 , last update 7/15/12 (3 years ago)
  • this is something I found on "" this list would probably make a good course on memrise...;) hint, hint, hint

    Posted by DarthJen 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • this is an article - it seems to imply that there is a subtle difference between these two words... ""

    Posted by DarthJen 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • Good article, thank you. After reading it I went on and did a bit of research. I have a strong feeling that the closer definition for empresario would be "entrepreneur, employer, businessman". He is the boss of a small to medium business.

    And businessman would indeed be the humbre de negocios, the guy with the suit and tie. He is more of a negotiator.

    What do you think?

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • The one I always hear around the place is is "empresario".

    Jennifer's link suggests that natives aren't all too sure of the line between the two terms either, the article itself seems like that kind of manager-speak. I mean it's very good, but it doesn't give clear ideas and draw lines like we want for a dictionary definition (something nice and easy "one wears a tie the other wears a bow tie"),it says that that an empresario becomes an hombre de negocios when he can lead, motivate, and another bunch of skills which are really important but are difficult to measure! Anyway it suggests that hombre de negocios is somehow above the other, I think the differences are very subtle. I can't find Hombre de Negocios in the RAE and this would suggest to me that it's a new word that came into Spanish after being translated from "Business Man". This is is supported by a google search "empresario" brings back over 7 million hits and "hombre de negocios" only 400,000.

    empresario, ria.

    1. m. y f. Persona que por concesión o por contrata ejecuta una obra o explota un servicio público.

    2. m. y f. Persona que abre al público y explota un espectáculo o diversión.

    3. m. y f. patrono (‖ persona que emplea obreros).

    4. m. y f. Titular propietario o directivo de una industria, negocio o empresa.

    It seems to me that it's perfectly okay to use that anywhere you'd use "businessman" in English. If you want to ask native speakers this is a good forum for getting help:


    Posted by RabbitWho 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • OMG sometimes I'm too much of a perfectionist :0)

    I did more surfing and found this interesting article: that would tend to confirm my guts feeling.

    As an example I might start a business of goods or services and become un empresario. I would then hire a business man (un hombre de negocios) that would sell my goods/services.

    Further more, an entrepreneur can have employees. I don't think of businessmen as being employers. To me a businessman is a representative, a CEO, etc. We could argue that a CEO is an employer but in fact it's the company that employ, not him. Also hombre de negocios would translate in English to man of negotiations.

    So anyway, I would be comfortable with: - empresario - entrepreneur, employer, businessman - hombre de negocios - businessman (suit) keeping in mind that there are other words to say entrepreneur, employer - emprendedor, empleador.

    Also let's keep in mind that a emprendedor/entrepreneur is not specially a business person. It can be understood as being a leader, someone that makes decision and conducts projects.

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • I'm glad you've got a definition that works for you! :)

    I just want to correct you on one thing, you fell for a "false friend"

    negocios doesn't mean negotiations, it means business.

    So as I said, "hombre de negocios" is literally "buisnessman". But it probably has different shades of meaning besides the literal translation from English.

    Posted by RabbitWho 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • Ah dangit, and I knew it slapping my forehead. Thanks for reminding me.

    Now you knew I would double-check LOL and guess what I found: negotiation - Negociación, negocio (Babylon, SpanishDict)

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • Well technically it's not wrong, but negocio is one thing and negociación is another, they're usually not interchangeable but you can see that they can be:


    (Del lat. negotĭum).

    1. m. Ocupación, quehacer o trabajo.

    2. m. Dependencia, pretensión, tratado o agencia.

    3. m. Aquello que es objeto o materia de una ocupación lucrativa o de interés.

    **4. m. Acción y efecto de negociar. *

    1. m. Utilidad o interés que se logra en lo que se trata, comercia o pretende.

    2. m. Local en que se negocia o comercia.


    (Del lat. negotiatĭo, -ōnis).

    1. f. Acción y efecto de negociar.

    2. f. Der. Tratos dirigidos a la conclusión de un convenio o pacto.

    ~ colectiva.

    1. f. Der. negociación que llevan a cabo los sindicatos de trabajadores y los empresarios para la determinación de las condiciones de trabajo y que, normalmente, desemboca en un convenio colectivo.
    Posted by RabbitWho 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • I almost don't want to say this because I don't want to complicate things.. I just looked at the link you said and it's not actually talking about the difference between the two jobs, it's defining both of the words using one definition.

    Posted by RabbitWho 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • That article was indeed a bit confusing and maybe my interpretation was a bit off.

    It is often very difficult to literally translate foreign terms into words when in fact they express ideas that don't always exist in the same form in another language. I'm just glad I'm not learning an Asian language, they have a completely different spiritual approach to idioms.

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • Oh here's a page that might be useful to you: you can see lots of occasions where professional translators translated "businessman" and see which of the two terms they choose and try to decide if it's dependent on the context or random.

    Posted by RabbitWho 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • Wow, thank you so much for this link, I saved it. It's going to be so useful.

    I kind of get a new feeling for the words. It seems hombre de negocio encompasses all kinds of businesses, it's the top layer and empresario is only one of the branches.

    An empresario is an hombre de negocios but an hombre de negocios is not always an impresario (but could be).

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/13/12 (3 years ago)
  • is your course:

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/14/12 (3 years ago)
  • yippie - I already started your color course ;)

    Posted by DarthJen 7/14/12 (3 years ago)
  • @sfrenchie - does the link posted in your entry above refer to the colors course or the professions course? When I click, it goes to the color's course.
    Secondly (off topic) - have you checked your "words learned" count? From forum comments, I think the act of uploading a course affects the number of "words learned" and course deletion doesn't remove the addition. I'm hoping that get's fixed one of these days.

    Posted by DarthJen 7/14/12 (3 years ago)
  • Hi Jennifer, I am glad to hear you'll soon be a colorful woman, in Spanish that is LOL.

    Ah yeah, the link, hum looks like I got a bit confused. In fact I haven't created the course yet but that shouldn't take very long, maybe an hour or so.

    My count of learned words doesn't seem to be affected by the uploads I do however since I'll upload the professions course I will check before and after. I'll update you on this one.

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/14/12 (3 years ago)
  • Tada the profession list has been uploaded, you will find it at: I have added quite a few that were not on the web site.

    Also I confirm that after upload my number of words learned on my profile has not changed.

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/14/12 (3 years ago)
  • @sfrenchie - this is weird. I know I read that someone else's word count changed when they uploaded a course. Maybe Memrise discriminates?

    Posted by DarthJen 7/14/12 (3 years ago)
  • Oh great, my luck, only the French don't get any extra point LOL. I don't know, maybe Ben could tell us about that?

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/15/12 (3 years ago)
  • and here I was thinking that it discriminated against people who were learning Mandarin...I was so worried about this that I sent a couple of courses to Ben to upload. Knowing my luck (based on sound statistical and scientific principles), I would be one of the "lucky" ones who's word count would have changed.

    Posted by DarthJen 7/15/12 (3 years ago)
  • Your word count certainly shouldn't change when you upload a wordlist - there was a report of that happening, but it should now be fixed. I am not totally 100% on that though, because we are very soon going to be transitioning over to the system of counting words learned as being the healthy plants in the garden, rather than the words harvested (which was the old figure). So we have been focusing on getting the new system smooth rather than the old system.

    Hope that makes sense,

    best wishes


    Posted by BenWhately Staff   7/15/12 (3 years ago)
  • Ah! I hope before the transition is done Memrise will give us a way to harvest plants once then to retire them as known forever instead of having to ignore them as we are forced to do now else a lot of people like ikenai and myself will fall in a crack of the new system. Could be a "don't grow" link in the popup we get while hovering on a word. Anyway, I hope I will read something like "yes, we have something in the planning BEFORE installing the new system"?

    Posted by sfrenchie 7/15/12 (3 years ago)

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