Re: Looking for totally subjective opinions on HATs

Subject: Re: Looking for totally subjective opinions on HATs
From: "Tom Brophy" <tombrophy -at- ireland -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2005 21:01:18 +0000

Hi David,

> Wouldn't that depend on how well the manual is made into modules, not
> to mention what kind of manual it is?

Well, yes, it ALWAYS depends. I picked up on Gretchen's over-generalization and then came up with one of my own. Mea maxima culpa ...

> For example, if the manual consists of "how to" instructions for
> discrete procedures, I would hazard a guess that paying for such an
> in-context edit is quite superfluous.

I'd suggest it would depend on inter alia the scope of the changes, the granularity of the topics, and the number and type of references to objects external to the procedure. For example, IIRC the translation for "File" (as in File menu) on the Mac used to be different to that used on Windows for some languages. In that scenario, if I as Joe translator just get a collection of segments from the vendor/client, I have no way of knowing which is appropriate.

> Unless I am mistaken regarding Author-It, you must either buy into the
> reusable objects philosophy to begin with or find another tool--or be
> massively disappointed. Since these objects are designed to be a "mix
> and match" source for creating a variety of outputs, they *must* be
> able to stand virtually alone in a variety of contexts.
> For such a methodology, I would not think the whole-doc review would be
> needed.

That would be my impression of the tool also, but my original point was tool-agnostic. A translation which has possibly been generated from multiple authors, possibly working on incomplete texts, possibly without reference material such as glossaries, will probably be a crock!

> There are other kinds of material in which it would make perfect
> sense. Any sort of narrative material that must be altered for
> incorporating changes would belong to this sort of category, I
> think...but again, that is not what Author-It is designed for.
> Or am I missing something here?

Try looking at the problem from the other side. Your French sister-company comes up with a fabulous new product which your company would like to market in the US. The original doc was in French, but as an all-round renaissance man you had no problem translating it into excellent US English. Now your French colleagues have version 2 and the doc has changed. They point out where it has changed and ask your department to provide new/changed translations. Unfortunately, between the versions of the product, you have been transferred out of your department for not being sufficently enthused about DFDs :-) Your post-reformation replacement, TM (an equally proficient translator) proceeds to translate the new/changed bits.

Would you release the US version without an overall edit?



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