RE: Writing for translation

Subject: RE: Writing for translation
From: "David O'Brien" <obriend -at- mincom -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 09:28:47 +1000

Try LISA for starters;
Also have a look at Lingo System's web-site;
Try some key words in Google; translate, localise, documentation, etc.

Apart from the general info they have there'll be plenty of pointers to
other areas.

One thing I'm trying to educate the writers here about is the use of
articles, prepositions, pronouns, etc. In colloquial English (I'm making an
assumption that this is the source language) and even in some "technical
writing" it's very easy to leave these out and maintain understanding;
experience has shown that it can slow down translators or cause errors.

Write a style guide. Get used to using the same terms to mean the same
thing, consistent spelling, etc. Avoid things like login, logon, logonto,
etc., all in the same document to mean the same thing. Pick one and use it.
(This is a different case from logon vs. log on; noun vs. verb.) Identify
phrases that shouldn't be translated, especially if they appear in the
middle of text, etc. Some words *can* be translated but shouldn't due to
their document context, etc. This came up here yesterday with a filename
that was all but plain English; translating it would've broken the script of
which it was a part.

I wasn't going to write that much.... :-)

Talk to your translators if you know who they are and you're working with
them. Get to know them and develop a relationship. They're part of your
documentation team.

Hope this helps.

David O'Brien
Senior Technical Writer
Caterpillar MineStar Solutions

Ph: 617 3303 3502
Fax: 617 3303 3470
Cell: 0411 760 216

<-----Original Message-----
<From: bounce-techwr-l-98681 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
<[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-98681 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Kight,
<Cindy K.
<Sent: Wednesday, 3 July 2002 8:03 AM
<Subject: Writing for translation
<I'm looking for reference materials about writing for translation. In
<particular, I'm interested in words and phrases than can be ambiguous or
<easily misinterpreted by translators. (I do realize that there are issues
<beyond this.)
<Thanks in advance,
<Cindy Kight
<Technical Communications Mgr.
<Gilbarco - Retail Management Solutions
<Glendale, CA

This transmission is for the intended addressee only and is confidential information. If you have received this transmission in error, please delete it and notify the sender. The contents of this e-mail are the opinion of the writer only and are not endorsed by the Mincom Group of companies unless expressly stated otherwise.

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Writing for translation: From: Kight, Cindy K.

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