Re: Preparing doc for use beyond the culture of origin . .

Subject: Re: Preparing doc for use beyond the culture of origin . .
From: Elaine Winters <ewinters -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 1994 15:22:21 -0700

I can recommend a few things I've found useful:

Trompennars, Fons: Riding the Waves of Culture:
Brealey Publishing

Rhinesmith, Stephen H.: A Manager's Guide to
Globalization:Business One Irwin

Hall, Edward T -- everything Dr. Hall has written
has proved enlightening.

and there are many more, of course.

Alas, much of the stuff that's been written is on a very
superficial - -'develop a checklist' level, and that's
unfortunate. This is an issue which must be addressed at
the deepest level of thought.

I've always thought it belongs in the dialogue on 'quality'
and 'customer service' that surfaces everytime a country
that pays better attention than we do to such matters - -
clobbers us economically. It really should be an ongoing
discussion, and 'Deming' style - - we need to keep getting
better at it.

We don't. We blunder around like 'ugly'
know-it-alls offending everyone in our path.

I have published several articles on this subject in
Technical Communication -- most recently: 2Q'94.

E. Winters: Principal Program Facilitating and Consulting
Berkeley, CA, USA 510-843-0909 ewinters -at- netcom -dot- com
Instructional Design * Interactivity * Cross - Cultural Communication

On Tue, 20 Sep 1994, Gwen Gall wrote:

> In-Reply-To: CNSEQ1:TECHWR-L -at- VM1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu's message of 09-19-94 18:21

> Elaine Winters points out:

> "Food, Colors, Icons" should be considered as issues in translation.

> Colour (and spelling <wink>) is apparently especially significant in certain
> cultures, and is an issue in online documentation development, and user
> interface design.

> A case in point: I recently worked with a GUI developer from China, who was
> quite stubborn (but dearly so--we're good friends), who had trouble
> understanding that she shouldn't make her O.K. buttons bright red. She said,
> "But red is good, and means good luck and money and things like that, so they
> push the O.K. button to make good things happen..."

> There are, of course, many other such stories. The point is: maybe we shouldn'

> just be looking at translating words, but other things as well, even as far as
> how thought processes differ culturally. We may need to change the the
> structure and/or presentation order of ideas in a document to accomodate
> cultural differences in cognitive processes.

> Has anyone read anything that goes into detail on cultural differences in
> cognitive processes, which is, or can be, related to documentation?

> Gwen (ggall -at- ca -dot- oracle -dot- com)

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