Arabic text in multilingual manual

Subject: Arabic text in multilingual manual
From: "Mike Sawyer" <mike -at- sawyerhome -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2012 01:04:07 -0600

Thank you all for your thoughts on Arabic text in manuals. To answer some of
the additional questions/topics that came up:

. Why not print as separate books and bundle together? Expense. Anything
that costs extra has to be clearly justified, hence the one book approach.
So any idea of separating the printed pieces can't be pursued. Also:
Complexity. Each separate piece in the box must have a unique part number
and must be handled on the manufacturing floor as an item to be inventoried,
tallied, packed, checked off. A larger number of pieces in the box also
detracts from the usability of the OOBE.
. Why not create separate PDFs of the manual by language? Complexity. Now, I
DO generate the PDFs separately, then "manually" combine the PDFs into a
single PDF using bookmarks to mark the language sections, so I could more
easily keep them separate, yes. But on the part number and CD burning system
(used by engineers and project managers), multiple files = multiple part
numbers, which is a headache for creation, maintenance/updating, and the
file lists they maintain for what goes on the CD. We provided separate PDFs
for the CD once. Once.
. Why not ask Arab experts? I posted this same question on another forum
that deals with Arabic phrasing, hoping that native Arabic speakers would
chime in, but I'm waiting on their response. If anyone knows of additional
resources I could pursue, I'd love to hear about them!

Thanks again for your ideas. Not trying to make any one language out as the
"bad guy," but it's frustrating that between formatting, font problems, and
layout, one language takes so much more time than all the others. BTW, I'm a
one-man shop, so my tendency is to keep things as simple as possible, while
still maintaining usability.





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