RE: seeking localisation advice for hybrid documentation

Subject: RE: seeking localisation advice for hybrid documentation
From: Matthew Horn <mhorn -at- macromedia -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 16:12:11 -0400


This is a complicated question. I prefer to reduce it to a simple formula.

1. Write down the date your product ships. This will be the variable Y.
2. Calculate the number of days that it takes to localize the docs into French. This will be called X.
4. Subtract X from Y:
The result is Z. You and your pardner should plan to finish writing the doc by Z, pass it and the database off to the localization folks, and pray that the engineers don't change anything.

Yeah, riiiiiiiiiight. What you will more likely have to do is work out a sliding schedule of various deliverables. Have fun. And don't forget to localize the screen shots, line art, and TPS reports.

>>They need to localise this set of documents into French.

Jump on this! These projects have a way of getting very costly.

>>Should they have the documents localised every time there's a new software release?

Of course. Translation companies keeps their own repository of documents and then run comparison reports against the new doc set. They end up only translating a small subset of the original document for each revision -- and charge you alot less as a result.

>>How do they control the extra information the localisers have to add?

I don't know why the translators will have to add any content. If your English document has a table that describes the labels and functions of various flickering lights, then the French version will, too. What's to add?

A few things that were not very clear... will the FR version be sim-shipped? This puts a squeeze on your Z date.

>>The embedded web on the gateway is not being localised, so the French
>>documentation will have to elaborate on what the English on the embedded web means...

I don't know what this is. Can you elaborate on what this means in English, first?

Matthew J. Horn
Sr. Technical Writer
< m a c r o m e d i a >

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