Re: Preparing doc for translation

Subject: Re: Preparing doc for translation
From: Richard Sobocinski <"Richard_G_Sobocinski%~WHC207"@CCMAIL.PNL.GOV>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 1994 09:40:00 -0700

-> Have in mind that translators do understand plain english:
that is their job.
-> However, simplified/restricted english can be useful in the case of
documents that will stay as is, i.e. that will not be translated,
and will be read by foreign mediocre english-readers.

2) True solutions for the given problem:
To prepare your document for translation, the basic idea is very
simple : ***** make it good ***** !
I think the whole idea behind the simplified/restricted
English debate is to accomodate _machine translators_. I
don't think that there is any doubt that a good _human_
translator is the better choice because of the current
limitations of machine translation.

PS1: This involves for example:
- make your document short (throw away useless text...)
- make it structured
- use homogeneous, uniform, terminology
- consider the reader is intelligent : give fine details only when it
is necessary (the "step by step" syndrome is boring for the reader;
I agree with everything up to here. "Step-by-step" may be
boring to the _reader_, but is very useful to the _user_.
Procedures that are written in step-by-step manner allow a
uniform approach to an operation that may be performed by
many different people. It also allows you to do away with
some of those fine details and move them to another part of
your structured document where they are more useful (like the
troubleshooting section).

My opinions,

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