localizing gerunds? (was: Writing English for Translation)

Subject: localizing gerunds? (was: Writing English for Translation)
From: "Monique Semp" <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TechWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 07:54:31 -0700

So this thread is reminding me of a topic that seemingly confronts me every time I write things that are to be localized: whether to use gerunds.

So I'd welcome a general discussion: do you strongly advocate using gerunds, avoiding gerunds, it depends (on what?), or it just doesn't matter?

Procedure writing advice seems pretty unanimous in recommending that gerunds be used, but localization advice seems to come out strongly against them.

Well, mostly. In Leah Guren's presentation in the recent User Assistance conference, we discussed this and her experience has been that localization vendors haven't had any problems with properly translating her procedure's gerunds into the target languages.

So, Iâm wondering, is it that there are different best practices depending on what the original authoring language and the target localization languages are, or is there any way to meld the different best practices (for English authoring vs. localization requirements)?

I recently read a rather old blog post about this: http://idratherbewriting.com/2008/02/11/are-gerunds-in-topic-titles-problematic-in-search-results/. The blog post itself is quite short, but there are a lot of interesting comments.

-Monique
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Writing English for Translation: From: Roberta Hennessey
Re: Writing English for Translation: From: Bill Swallow

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