Re: English and Formality for Tech Docs in Non-North American Markets

Subject: Re: English and Formality for Tech Docs in Non-North American Markets
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 11:33:00 EST

Candace, I'd suggest that you talk with your translation firm. Their
employees may have fascinating insights.

As for the brits, I recall a tale (possibly apocryphal) from WWII, in which
British and American forces were streaming across a bridge that was still
under intermittent fire. The British had hand-lettered a sign that said,
approximately, "Do not tarry on the bridge. Continue moving at all costs."
The Americans had also hand-lettered a sign that said "Get Moving!"

>I am hoping to hear from TCs who have experience producing documents in
>English for companies and governments outside North America, who can shed
>some light on some of the (cultural?) differences in common usage (as
>opposed to grammatical rules) and standards for English, especially relating
>to procedure writing and the level of formality appropriately used for
>different audiences (end users, system administrators, management, the
>public, etc). We also have questions about using the second person. If
>there's a New Zealander out there in TW-land, I would appreciate hearing
>from you, but this is a general survey.


Tim Altom
Vice President
Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice)
317.899.5987 (fax)
http://www.iquest.net/simply/simplywritten


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