Re: English for Asian readers

Subject: Re: English for Asian readers
From: Ann Balaban <annb -at- DADD -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1993 09:50:51 CST

Hello Margaret and Paul,

I am Shuba from Texas Instruments, India. I don't understand why
writing English (especially Technical writing) for Asian readers
should be any different from writing for other audience. The same
rules of easy readability and clear explanations hold good for us.

In India the readers certainly appreciate lucid instructions. I do
agree that some of the manuals here are written in the third person.
This does not mean that readers are offended when the writer
substitutes 'you' for 'user'. There's nothing in our culture that
prevents us from accepting instructions, although we do stress on
politeness a lot.

Whichever way you look at it, everybody loves neat prose!

Will be glad to help if you need more info on Indian attitudes!

Shuba Subramaniam GOSH -at- msg -dot- ti -dot- com
Technical Writer
Texas Instruments India Pvt. Ltd.

> Margaret Gerard (margaret -at- toshiba -dot- tic -dot- oz -dot- au) wrote:
> : 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?

> If you care what readers from a certain culture think about your writing
> style, forget the expert advice. Just go out and find some readers from
> the target culture and ask what they think! Unfortunately, it can be
> hard to get people from certain cultures to give *open* and *frank*
> criticism--but it's worth trying, anyway.

> --------======= * =======--------
> Paul Goble
> Hewlett-Packard Colorado Springs Division
> Learning Products Engineering
> paulg -at- col -dot- hp -dot- com

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