RE: Boring documentation?

Subject: RE: Boring documentation?
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: "Julie Stickler" <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 08:31:29 -0400

Julie Stickler asked...

> Every time we start another thread about "interesting" manuals,
> writing styles, making the documentation "accessable" and so on I have
> to wonder, does anyone on this list localize their documentation?
> We translate our documentation into about a dozen languages, and many
> of the guidelines for writing for a global audience are in direct...

After getting unsolicited feedback from employees and customers in our
community, our company last year began localizing our Spanish-language
literature (marketing, advertising, online, and technical). We have a
significant Spanish-speaking base of customers, employees, and
contractors in our company and its service area. Most of them are of
Eastern Caribbean heritage, especially Puerto Rico and the Dominican

Up until last year, all our Spanish language literature was translated
by an outside service that held to a Castillian (continental Spanish)
translation model. To many of our customers and employees the language
just seemed a little silly. From what I gather, it would be like
receiving advertising literature written in Shakespeare's English. You
could still read it and understand it, but it wouldn't seem very

Since we've begun focusing on Spanish translations for the particular
dialects of our largest Spanish-speaking audience, we've had positive
feedback, both internally and externally. Granted, we serve only a local
market and we don't produce documentation that goes around the world or
even across the country, but accessibility is important for helping a
company connect with its customer base (and its internal base) in the
most effective way possible.

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