English, Queen's and American

Subject: English, Queen's and American
From: Kristina Ricks <kristina_ricks -at- MAIL -dot- MEDICALOGIC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 15:59:16 PDT

This thread makes me think of another thread that came up recently,
about translations into other languages, and its inherent complexity
with cultural issues.

A project I worked on about two years ago involved translating
documents into Canadian French. If a few of us are incensed over
British vs. American spellings, multiply that by probably a thousand
and add in a province ready to secede from Canada, and you've got the
toes we were anxious not to step on with our translated manuals.

I learned that there are significant differences between the French
spoken in France and that spoken in Canada, and the levels of anguish
over those differences. The translation company (AT&T Business
Translations) luckily was also.

They also encouraged us to find a friendly reader who is a native
speaker of Canadian French, and who is familiar with our product, to
review their work throughly. We did (one of our sales reps in
Montreal) and the result was great--she found all kinds of things to
change which the translation company happily did for us.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that there is no substitute
for impressions from the end users (or as close as you can get to

Best of luck with your projects.

Kristina Ricks

kristina_ricks -at- medicalogic -dot- com

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