Guide: How to Say “Maquiladora” in English

When it comes to language, understanding and utilizing the correct terminology is crucial. “Maquiladora” is a Spanish word commonly used in Mexico and the border regions of the United States. It refers to a manufacturing plant, often foreign-owned, that imports materials and equipment on a duty-free and tariff-free basis for assembly, processing, or manufacturing, before exporting the final product. In this guide, you’ll learn how to say “maquiladora” in English, both formally and informally, and explore some useful tips and examples to enhance your communication skills.

Formal Ways to Say “Maquiladora” in English

A formal setting typically requires precise language usage. Here are a few formal alternatives to refer to a maquiladora:

  1. Manufacturing plant: This term accurately conveys the basic meaning and purpose of a maquiladora in English.
  2. Foreign assembly plant: Highlighting the foreign ownership and the assembly nature of maquiladoras.
  3. Offshore manufacturing facility: Emphasizing the offshore location and manufacturing aspects of a maquiladora.
  4. Export processing zone: Specifically in the context of certain designated areas that offer incentives for businesses, such as tax breaks or simplified customs procedures.

When engaging in formal discussions or writing reports, using these terms will enable clear and precise communication.

Informal Ways to Say “Maquiladora” in English

Informal conversations often allow for more relaxed language usage. Here are a few casual alternatives to refer to a maquiladora:

  1. Maquila: This abbreviated form is widely recognized by English speakers in the Mexican border regions.
  2. Manufacturing hub: Describing the concentration of manufacturing activities in a specific area.
  3. Assembly line factory: Highlighting the assembly line nature of a maquiladora.
  4. Offshoring facility: Discussing the offshore location of manufacturing operations.

When conversing with colleagues, friends, or locals, these informal alternatives will make you sound more familiar with the subject matter.

Examples of Usage

Let’s explore some examples of how to use these terms in sentences:

Formal example: The foreign assembly plant located in Tijuana provides valuable employment opportunities for the local workforce.

Informal example: There are many maquilas near the border, creating job opportunities for both Mexicans and Americans.

Formal example: The offshore manufacturing facility in Ciudad Juarez is known for its cost-effective operations and efficient supply chain management.

Informal example: The manufacturing hub in Reynosa is a hotspot for businesses looking to take advantage of the proximity to the US market.

These examples demonstrate how using the appropriate terminology ensures effective communication and contributes to better understanding.

Tips for Pronunciation

Pronouncing foreign words accurately is vital for effective communication. Here are some tips to pronounce “maquiladora” in English:

  • Break the word down into syllables: ma-qui-la-do-ra
  • Pay attention to the pronunciation of each syllable, emphasizing the “QUI” and “DO” sounds.
  • Practice saying the word slowly, ensuring clarity in your enunciation.

Remember, it’s always essential to be respectful and make an effort to pronounce words as accurately as possible.


Mastering the pronunciation and understanding of foreign words like “maquiladora” allows for effective communication and demonstrates cultural competence. In formal settings, terms such as “manufacturing plant” or “foreign assembly plant” accurately convey the concept, while informal discussions can reference “maquila” or “assembly line factory.” By utilizing these terms correctly, you can confidently discuss these manufacturing operations, fostering clearer communication and building stronger relationships. So, whether you’re engaging in formal negotiations or having a casual conversation with friends, knowing how to say “maquiladora” in English is a valuable skill.

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