Devil's in the details"


New Member
Anyone knows what this means and how to best say it in spanish. Is there a term in spanish as well?
  • DavidFP

    Senior Member
    USA- English
    Louanna007 said:
    "devil's in the details" means that perfectionism is not the way to go.

    Not quite! The meaning is more like "The difficulties are in the details." E.g., while the concept of a polution-free car is easy to understand and subject to broad agreement, how to design and produce one is a huge problem full of many engineering and manufacturing challenges!

    Invoking the devil, of course, makes it idiomatic. Not being a native speaker, I suspect none-the-less, that the devil may be as good a stand-in for "big trouble" in Spanish as in English. Louanna007, your literal translation may be as good as any. ;)



    Senior Member
    It means that the details are the important part.

    For instance, whether an idea will work depends not only on the concept itself, but on how well the numerous small details are handled.

    As an example, you have a great idea for a new product, but how you handle the details will determine your success -- do you have trucks to deliver the product to the stores? do you have reliable equipment to make the product? do you have any necessary permits or licenses? etc.

    Although they're not the product you're trying to sell, these details can be difficult to manage, yet are crucial for your success -- the devil is in the details.


    Senior Member
    US, English
    I agree 100% with DavidFP's definition.

    Estoy casi segura de que he escuchado alguna vez:

    El diablo está en los detalles

    y también

    La clave está en los detalles
    Lo importante está en los detalles.


    Senior Member
    Argentina - Spanish
    jinti said:
    It means that the details are the important part.

    La única frase en castellano que se me ocurre para expresar esa idea es "el detalle hace la diferencia". Pero no necesariamente implica que estar en el detalle sea difícil. Sólo que es importante.

    Nunca oí hablar de que el diablo estuviera en los detalles, ni nada por el estilo...