Re: Arabic text in multilingual manual

Subject: Re: Arabic text in multilingual manual
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 13:02:33 -0400

The standard method of presenting Arabic and ONE other language that I have seen is to make the Arabic read from the "back" of the book (with its own front cover on the "back") and the L-to-R language in the "front" half of the book in the usual manner. Having all the stuff crammed in there surely seems like an error of design. I would prepare a separate Arabic book with only Arabic and English in it.

Page numbering in Arabic is traditionally done in the Arabic numbering system, rather than in our numbering that WE call Arabic numerals. Fortunately, all technical readers of Arabic know our numerals.

You would be well advised to consult with people who design Arabic multilingual books as their profession, preferable actual Arabs.

I know that I always feel frustrated when I have to wade through an instruction sheet that is presented in ten or more languages, trying to find the parts in English. It only makes matters worse that I feel I can read German, Dutch, Danish, French, Italian and Spanish to some slight degree. "Oops, I'm trying to read the Dutch. Why does it have to be so much like English and German?"

To whose benefit is it, to have all the languages sqwooshed in together?

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References:
Arabic text in multilingual manual: From: Mike Sawyer

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