Updating foreign language translations

Subject: Updating foreign language translations
From: Linda Hughes <lhughes -at- novametrix -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 11:29:26 -0500

Hello Techwr-lers, long time no see!

I dropped off the list when I was out on maternity leave, and never
re-upped. But lo and behold, I have a major techwriting/translation headache
on my hands, and guess who I thought of first? I'm sure an increasing number
of people on the list are confronting this same problem with ISO 9000 and CE
foreign language requirements. I'd love some suggestions.

(Yes I did search the archives for any relevant info, but nothing has been
written about this particular aspect).

Here goes:

* We make medical monitoring equipment -- capnography, pulse oximetry,
* Another tech writer and myself, with the input of various SME's and
engineers, write the User's and Service Manuals (FrameMaker).
* We send them out for translation.
* Run the translated manual through an in-country review (usually a
* Release it.

All well and good so far. However, six months to a year down the road, comes
the new revision of the software. New features, altered features, improved
algorithms, etc. Now we need to update the manuals not only in English, but
in 10 other languages. There are new sections, new paragraphs, new
sentences, sometimes only a few words in a sentence need to be altered.

Has anyone out there found an efficient and cost-effective way to handle
incremental updates? We are using two different translation services (with
translation memory databases), with mixed results. If anyone has developed a
formal procedure, I'd love to see it. Recommendations for translation
services are welcome also (third-party only please, I am not soliciting
spam). I'd also be happy to share any insights I may have gathered over the
last two years.


Linda Hughes
Tech Writer
Novametrix Medical Systems, Inc.

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