RE: Foreign Abbreviation Conventions

Subject: RE: Foreign Abbreviation Conventions
From: "Jane Carnall" <jane -dot- carnall -at- digitalbridges -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 13:49:49 +0100

Hi Justin,

A few years ago, I was trying to standardise English words in an interface
where, previously, the developers had been allowed to abbreviate any word
any way they liked just so long as it fitted the interface.

One of the things I did was circulate a list of words abbreviated and ask
everyone in my department to write down the first abbreviation that occurred
to them. Some words had as many as five "obvious" abbreviations each - very
few had only one. Three of us then got together and picked the one that
looked "rightest" to us out of the list (with a bias towards "shortest" when
we couldn't decide on "rightest".)

If you have access to a group of people with Italian as a mother tongue, I'd
suggest you circulate a list of the terms in Italian that you want to
abbreviate, and ask them for a similiar consensus on what's an "obvious"
abbreviation. IMHO, nothing substitutes for native intuitions.

Jane Carnall
Technical Writer, Digital Bridges, Scotland
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.

-----Original Message-----
Does anyone know of a book that provides conventions for abbreviating
foreign terms in an interface? For example, my company is localizing our
product into Italian, and some of the Italian terms for the dialog boxes or
menus are much longer than their English equivalent. Is there a book or
reference guide that provides some conventions for how to abbreviate those
Italian terms in a meaningful way? Or is this more a matter of proper
interface design to handle the longer terms?


*** Deva(tm) Tools for Dreamweaver and Deva(tm) Search ***
Build Contents, Indexes, and Search for Web Sites and Help Systems
Available now at or info -at- devahelp -dot- com

Sponsored by Information Mapping, Inc., a professional services firm
specializing in Knowledge Management and e-content solutions. See 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 for more resources and info.

Foreign Abbreviation Conventions: From: Justin Kelley

Previous by Author: RE: Tech writing class (Intellectual Foundations) LONG
Next by Author: RE: Length of service--how often to change jobs?
Previous by Thread: Foreign Abbreviation Conventions
Next by Thread: OT: Friday afternoon Ego-boo

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads