RE: Lost Audience?

Subject: RE: Lost Audience?
From: "Kathleen" <keamac -at- cox -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 14 May 2005 07:33:39 -0700

Hi Renee,

I'm curious about what you mean by the "primary audience seemed
forgotten." Could you give a brief example?

The manuals I wrote were for equipment sold in countries around the
world, so they were used by non-native English speakers. I did my best
to use terms that weren't colloquial (e.g., verify instead of check),
and clear sentence construction, and kept my fingers crossed. But I've
never written something specifically for translation. From what you say
it sounds like that takes a completely different approach.


-----Original Message-----
From: Renee Moore

Good morning!

How have you handled writing documents that might need
translation? And, yes, I am stressing might--the
considerations seem different when one knows documents
are to be translated into specific languages.

How do you ensure that the primary audience gets a
concisely written, focused document? On a recent
project, the primary audience seemed forgotten in the
effort to write an easily-translatable document.

Both the lead writer and I have worked with
translators, and our perspectives on language were
considerably different. I held that we could "omit
needless words" (a la Strunk & White) and still
deliver a document that translators could produce in
other languages--without tearing their hair out.
Instead, IMHO, the latest version of the document
continues with the same verbose style as earlier

Hearing trainers call the application "non-intuitive"
underscored the importance of writing clearly and
concisely. The lead writer is not a native speaker,
which may have contributed to the focus on writing for

How do you ensure that documents are written for users
instead of translators?


Renee Moore
Technical Communications Consultant
rkmoore1 -at- yahoo -dot- com


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Lost Audience?: From: Renee Moore

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