Re: Tech. writing as parables? Japanese style

Subject: Re: Tech. writing as parables? Japanese style
From: John Kohl <sasjqk -at- UNX -dot- SAS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 18:32:01 GMT

In article <9707068708 -dot- AA870897810 -at- feric -dot- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
|> Wayne Douglass wondered <<Yeah, but try writing a technical
|> manual in the form of parables and see where that gets
|> you.>>
|> Actually, it gets you employed as a tech. writer in Japan
|> if what I've read is any indication. That's not intended as
|> a slap, but rather as an introduction to a question. I've
|> always read that Japanese technical style differs
|> dramatically from English style: English cuts right to the
|> chase and states things explicitly, whereas Japanese
|> circles around the issue, never confronts it directly, but
|> nonetheless leads you to the correct place... or so "they"
|> say. (Tie-in: that sounds a bit like parables to me.) Can
|> anyone who works in Japan confirm this, or elaborate (e.g.,
|> provide an example)?

If you are really interested, see Kohl, John R. et al. "The Impact of
Language and Culture on Technical Communication in Japan," _Technical
Communication_: First Quarter 1994

(Sorry, I can't summarize it here, but it's very thorough, if I do say
so myself!)


John Kohl

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