RE: Multilingualism and Technical Writers

Subject: RE: Multilingualism and Technical Writers
From: Lief Erickson <lerickson -at- mqsoftware -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 13:32:17 -0500

James Fingers wants to know...

<<Is there a significant demand for technical writers who can write manuals
more than one language?>>

I think it depends on what you want to do. Do you want to translate someone
else's writing? Then there is probably demand.

Do you want to write original text in two languages? This is very rare and
it is unlikely (although not impossible) to find. First, you'd need to be a
native speaker of both (or all) languages, which is uncommon. Becoming
fluent in another language is not the same as being a native speaker. As
someone who is a native English speaker and fluent in German, I can speak
with some authority. Second, it'd be quicker (and probably cheaper) to write
in one language and have a translation company translate into the other
languages. Besides, they'd keep that information in a database using
translation software.


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