TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Miriam McGinty-Lowe says: Our development department has requested
information from the first of the system suppliers and has received masses
of information back - in Norwegian. <snip> The programmers just want a quick
and dirty estimation of the contents of the document (I think someone in the
archives refered to it as 'gisting')
I worked for nearly two years as part of a department that was 3/4s based at
a site in Valbonne, France. (I was in Reading, UK.) The official language of
both sites was English, but - obviously - most of the people on the French
site spoke French to some capacity, and they'd often exchange informal
e-mail in French. I used to use Alta Vista's Babel Fish for pretty much what
you describe - I'd run the e-mail through it, confirm that it was an
invitation to a party, an announcement that so-and-so was getting married, a
"virus warning" (I sent a debunk back, in Babel-Fish-supplied French, and
was congratulated by the French speaker who sat next to me on making only
one grammatical error - which he explained to me at length) or other
non-official non-critical communication. It worked pretty well for that.
However, one caveat, but a big one - I would suggest you always err on the
side of caution. The machine translation provides very variable results. If
it's incomprehensible when directly translated, I don't think you can afford
to assume that means it's useless. It may contain vital information
expressed so colloquially that machine translation can't handle it. If you
use the machine translation to discard *only* documents that are clearly and
obviously no use to you, that may save some money - but someone's got to run
them through machine translation and make that judgement call.
Technical Writer, Digital Bridges, Scotland
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.
*** Deva(tm) Tools for Dreamweaver and Deva(tm) Search ***
Build Contents, Indexes, and Search for Web Sites and Help Systems
Available now at http://www.devahelp.com or info -at- devahelp -dot- com
Sponsored by Information Mapping, Inc., a professional services firm
specializing in Knowledge Management and e-content solutions. See http://www.infomap.com or 800-463-6627 for more about our solutions.
You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.raycomm.com/techwhirl/ for more resources and info.