Manuals Written in Non-American English -Reply

Subject: Manuals Written in Non-American English -Reply
From: Bill Sullivan <bsullivan -at- SMTPLINK -dot- DELTECPOWER -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 16:36:23 -0700

>>What things are generally done in manuals written for the USA that
don't work well for non-American English speakers? (Aside from the
normal, generally-accepted conventions for user documentation, if
such things exist.)

In general, stick to short, simple words in short, simple sentences.

Avoid pronouns. I got this from a lady from Belgium I met at the STC
conference in Seattle. She pointed out that pronouns are hard to
follow, and I see her point.

Avoid anything that might translate funny, no matter how brilliant
the English. This is akin to Quiller-Couch's "murder your darlings."

See International Technical Communication by Nancy L. Hoft (Wiley).
It's full of details and has a nice appendix on resources.

I would like to see the thoughts of others on this list.

Bill Sullivan
bsullivan -at- deltecpower -dot- com
San Diego, California

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