This is one of those words that people keep using in English even though they're speaking German or Swedish.

Google translate suggested "subkontraktado", but I didn't find it in ReVo. I think an important difference between normal subcontracting and outsourcing is that outsourcing implies that it is a service that has been done inhouse before.

Say, you have an IT department and you fire the whole department and outsource it all to India. "Subcontracting" doesn't really cover that, I think.

Is there a good translation for "outsourcing"?

2 Answers 2


In some instances, eksterigado could do the job.

This word is used in that article in the context of migration control, which would be outsourced from the European Union to non-member countries:

Tiel, la malnova kontinento, sin taksante nekapabla regi siajn landlimojn, sisteme komencas – senkonsidere al la internaciaj ekzistantaj interkonsentoj – senŝarĝigi sin pri tiu tasko je pli frua stadio, favore al la devenlandoj aŭ transitlandoj. Migreurop, reto de esploristoj popularigis la koncepton « eksterigado », devenantan de ekonomikistoj, por kvalifiki tiujn malhelpojn kontraŭ la cirkullibereco, kiu tamen estas entenata en la internaciaj tekstoj.

But I could not find other occurences in texts about economics or business.

Maybe it would be more precise to say serveksterigado for a service which is outsourced. Or laboreksterigado.

  • 1
    En mia artikolo "Ĉu tamen eblas pri-Esperanta lingvoscienco?" (lingvakritiko.com/2016/03/29/…) mi uzis "amas-eksterigo" en la senco de "crowdsourcing". Tiu uzo kompreneble estis bazita sur la ideo ke "eksterig(ad)o" signifas "outsourcing". Oct 17, 2016 at 8:04

The Wikipedia article corresponding to "Outsourcing" in English is indeed called Subkontraktado, with the definition "signifas... transdonon, elorganizigon de laborfazoj al alia entrepreno, ofte en eksterlando".

So it sounds like technically it does cover the situation you described. I don't know if that matches the definition of "subcontracting" in English, but if not might be a false friends situation.

To me as a layperson, it seems reasonable to say that a company could "outsource" without the work originally done in house - if it expands to do new things or is brand new - so I'm not sure that "outsourcing" always implies what you described (I am definitely not an expert though).

In any case, there is not always a one-to-one correspondence between English and Esperanto words, and while English has two words for these similar ideas, it seems that Esperanto does not. If you want to be clear about having the connotation of one or the other, you should probably just spell it out explicitly.

La firmo subkontraktas laboron.

La firmo subkontraktas laboron kiu antaŭe estis farata de ĝiaj propraj laboristoj.

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