Re: English for Asian readers

Subject: Re: English for Asian readers
From: Karen Kay <karenk -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1993 17:41:32 PST

Margaret Gerard said:
> Recently I heard a passing comment that:
> "In some Asian countries, readers are offended by the
> use of the imperative mood and/or 'you' (for the user)
> in technical documentation."
> Does anyone know anything about this? Can anyone suggest any
> references?

I'm sorry, I can't provide references. All I can say is that in
Japanese the imperative is not generally used. There is a way to
say "it would be better if you X", or "let's X", or "please X",
and these are used instead of the imperative. "You" is not generally
used, but this is no surprise because Japanese often has an
unspecified actor.

It depends on the documentation, of course, but I should think
that the English versions of these sorts of circumlocutions
would often sound quite bad because they are not natural English.

I don't know about other Asian languages.

Karen Kay
karenk -at- netcom -dot- com

Previous by Author: Re: Usability -- page numbering
Next by Author: Re: Getting that degree (Append)
Previous by Thread: Looking for Tailhook Report
Next by Thread: English for Asian readers

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads