RE: It's not just a good idea; it's the law

Subject: RE: It's not just a good idea; it's the law
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2008 13:07:07 -0500

To expand a bit:
We've had similar Help translated to other languages, and what the
translators wanted in those cases was the WebHelp OUTPUT. They just
translated in-situ and it worked.

For this French contract, I was asked initially by the coordinator (not
related to the people who did the other languages) for "the manuals", so
he could get quotes for translation.
I just corrected him, that there WERE no "manuals", merely Help in the
form of HTML pages and some related baggage.
I then 'helpfully' suggested that he might need what the other
translation crew had wanted, namely the OUTPUT of my Flare project, the
WebHelp files.
He first came back to say that this was too difficult to translate
(what? a few hundred plain html pages?). After further attempts at
clarification (during which he kept saying "the manuals", "the manuals",
he finally came up with this claim that the French government would not
let us sell into that market unless we had a printed document translated
into French. The implication also seems to be that he's not looking to
get the WebHelp itself translated.
There's no time in my schedule for me to take what Flare kicks out in
Word format and turn that into an actual manual (with proper pagination,
formatting, ToC, Index, etc), so either it'll be ugly or it'll be a job
for this poor fellow to do in his copious leisure time. I wonder if
it's necessary or a misunderstanding, but politics and bureaucracy
produce some truly amazing things sometimes...
So my imagination has me thinking that the translation of the printable
output will be just a (n expensive) token thing to fulfill the letter of
the law, while the real Help will remain English and (wink-wink) all
those French engineers and IT people read English anyway... blah, blah.
Thus my inquiry to others who have blazed this trail before.

Cheers et salut, tout-le-monde


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-
>] On Behalf Of McLauchlan, Kevin
> Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2008 12:18
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: It's not just a good idea; it's the law
> Is anyone aware of a provision in French (France) law that says a
> product with a software component, sold into the French market must
> a printable manual?
> All you folks who provide Help as the documentation for your software
> products, do you have to kick out a PDF (or whatever) version when it
> comes time to have it translated for France?
> Would the people enforcing such a thing then allow a product to be
> in-country with English-only Help, as long as there was a translated
> printout in French?
> We're talking WebHelp, not integrated context-sensitive Help.

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It's not just a good idea; it's the law: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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