Re: Advice on rewriting translated ops manuals

Subject: Re: Advice on rewriting translated ops manuals
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2013 12:57:05 -0400

The important thing is to go with your style. Styles will certainly differ
for different language and geographic markets. The translation should have
considered this and the style needs for the target's (in this case, your)
needs. Discuss with your team and management, and correct the content as
necessary but also give stylistic feedback (detailed) to your Chinese
office and to their translators for future work. The translation group can
fix their TM to accommodate your needs (and vice versa). If you are a
global company and do not have a global style and translation guide yet,
now is the best time to start creating that.


On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM, Anonymous <anonymous -at- techwhirl -dot- com> wrote:

> 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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--
Bill Swallow
Writing and Content Strategy Consultant
http://www.linkedin.com/in/techcommdood
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References:
Advice on rewriting translated ops manuals: From: Anonymous

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