Re: British English

Subject: Re: British English
From: Gurudutt Kamath/Technical Writing Centre <guruk -at- GIASBM01 -dot- VSNL -dot- NET -dot- IN>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 18:59:23 +0530

Hi All

Here is my two paise worth:

Indians inherited English as a legacy from Britain. However, in the
information technology context, I do not think that there is any
particular strain of English which is being followed. Thanks to
globalization, the trend is to follow an internation English as someone
had mentioned. I do not think that English here "is still very formal".
Indian readers have outgrown this "expectation". Indian writing (manuals,
documentation), can compare with the best of the world. In terms of
technical writing, India may not have matured. But in terms of English,
our maturity level should be on par with the rest of the world. One more
point, we do have an Indian version of English, popularly called Inglish
or Hinglish. But this strain, fortunately, is a medium mainly used by
Indians for an Indian audience. Hope this clarifies the Indian bit.

Having written user manuals for an international audience, I feel, I have
been fortunate in writing for a specific audience (restricted by
geography). I have no experience of writing for a world audience. But my
conclusion is that you need to have writing tailored to the geographical
audience. Here the international English concept will not work. The
audience should determine the writing.


<*()Technical Writing Centre, Mumbai, India
<*()Email:guruk -at- giasbm01 -dot- vsnl -dot- net -dot- in
<*()Voice:91-22-886 21 83 Pager: 9624-215 911

On Sun, 10 Nov 1996, Anthony Veeder wrote:

> Remember that Australian, New Zealand and South African readers have
> similar English to the Brits. In Canada, I assume, they have similar
> English to that in the US. The Indian sub-continent might be a
> completely different kettle of fish ("whole new ball-game"??). I get
> the feeling that their written English is still very formal, and their
> readers might expect it. But you can't write four different versions of
> the same English manual, can you...? *can* you...? You can? Wow.
> --
> Anthony Veeder eMail: anthony -at- emultek -dot- co -dot- il
> Technical Documentation Tel: +972-4-999-0044
> Emultek Fax: +972-4-999-0050

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