Mano de obra: Manpower or Labour?


This is the question I have. Could someone please help explain the exact meaning of each and the difference between them? I feel, Manpower is more like the workforce available whereas Labour means the actual job or work to be done, but I need to translate Mano de Obra. Which option should I choose? I am translating software manuals (for management).
Thanks a million,
  • hi/hola,
    I'm making a list of vocab for future ref in translating software manuals (management), and need to know how exactly to translate mano de obra. I know the difference between labour and manpower in Eng but need to know if the two words are translated differently in Spa.
    Hi, there

    As far as I know, the distinction you've made between manpower and labour is correct.
    "Mano de obra" can be translated as both.

    - Manpower = Mano de obra as number of resources needed to undertake a work
    - Man hour = mano de obra as number of hours per person needed to undertake a work
    - Labour = it could be mano de obra in a bill. I.e.

    Reparation of a car
    1.- Parts = 400$
    2.- Labour = 300 $

    Hope that helps
    Thanks, guys!
    It helped but I'm still a trifle confused...but alright..David, do you agree with Catxs that it can be translated by both words?
    All of the above are correct, but I would check the context. Also check if you have "fuerza laboral" which is often used to mean "manpower" to differ from "labour" or "mano de obra".

    Good luck!
    Manpower = the actual amount of people, the necessary workforce (ABC Company has the manpower to tackle that job in three weeks) = la fuerza laboral

    Labour = the actual work done by the workers at the worksite (We will charge you $000 for parts and $000 for labor... labor costs are on the rise within the construction industry) = mano de obra

    Hope this explanation helps.


    Transfering this inquiry to the General Vocabulary forum.
    "Manpower" or "labour" can be used, although "labour" has other meanings. "Labour force" is better than "labour", although, as I said before, "labour" is also correct.