Re: Writing for Translation

Subject: Re: Writing for Translation
From: Beverly Robinson <beverly_robinson -at- datacard -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l Posting <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 09:56:57 -0500

In the Digest I got this morning Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

<quote>Or, since your existing callouts are in text boxes and editable in Frame
(if I read the original post correctly), if your existing users find the
current layout the most usable you could hire translators who work in
Frame and have them translate the callouts.

You should also run this past whoever does your safety reviews (in ALL
your destination countries) to see whether there are potential
regulatory, safety and/or liability issues with any scheme that
introduces a disconnect between the arrowhead and the text that it is
intended to indicate in a high-risk system. UL, CSA and CE requirements
often differ, and the last thing you want is to have to explain in court
that you changed from an arrow-direct-to-text scheme to an
arrow-to-number, number-to-text-in-separate-table scheme that a
plaintiff is claiming resulted in an injury or fatal accident because it
was less expensive for the company and less work for you.</quote>

Yes, yes, and yes! I have never understood why the Technical Communication community puts the user's needs above our own convenience in every area except callouts on illustrations. Then the standard practice is for us to take the easy, less expensive path for us and usability has to take second place.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Beverly Robinson
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