Translations and addresses

Subject: Translations and addresses
From: "Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 17:38:24 -0500

I have to include 2 addresses in our documents, one in the US and one in
France, and I don't know whether to ask the translators to translate
these country names or leave them in English. I don't know enough about
how to mail works to know if having, say, Chinese characters on a letter
might make it faster or slower to reach its destination.

My gut reaction is that it should be in the local language, since the
local postal worker is going to just read that part and put the letter
into the box marked "USA" or "France" and the rest of the address will
be dealt with in English or French, as expected.

My liver, however, is telling me that if the letter somehow ends up in
the "Europe" bundle and gets to, let's say, Germany, the German postal
worker will now have no clue where the letter is going, and it may be
held up. So using a lingua franca like English (!) may make it more
likely to get where it needs to go.

"Ask Google," said my spleen! "Google knows everything." Alas, Google
was not forthcoming, although it did suggest to me that spleens are
often wrong.

My brain whispered, "Let's ask TechWhirl. They will know better than
your digestive organs."

Madelyn "Tuesday? Whazzat?" Boudreaux


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