Advice on rewriting translated ops manuals

Subject: Advice on rewriting translated ops manuals
From: Anonymous <anonymous -at- techwhirl -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2013 10:34:59 -0400

Anonymous has a new challenge, and asks for the list's advice on handling.
Please make your replies directly to the list, as they cannot be forwarded.

--------------------

Greetings,

I need some advice.

I've been asked to review and edit some Ops manuals from our Chinese tech
pubs department for a product we will be selling domestically. It appears
that the manual was written in Chinese and then translated into English. It
is in bad shape. I don't have access to their style guide, but I've noticed
that they use the pronoun "you" in their manuals and we don't in our
manuals. For example, "Use [Quick Admit] only if you do not have the time
or information to fully admit a patient. " and "You can transfer a patient
with an XYZ or ABC to a new location without re-entering the patient
demographic information or changing the settings. "

They also use "will" throughout the manual and we do not. For example, "Select
a patient and then click [Import]. Then the monitor *will* update the
information for the corresponding patient." We would write, "Select a
patient and then click [Import]. The monitor updates the information for
the corresponding patient."

I'm uncomfortable re-writing this manual based on our style guide even
though it is for our US clients and not theirs because I don't want them to
feel snubbed. I'm also not sure if this manual has been translated yet (I
have asked the project manager to find out), so that will be a factor in
how much I change as they are VERY cost conscious and likely will not want
to pay for so many updates.

Gentle opinions are welcome.
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