Re: Cultural stereotyping and internationalization

Subject: Re: Cultural stereotyping and internationalization
From: Susan Brown <sbrown -at- JSCSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 14:10:59 -0400

At 10:27 AM 8/15/97 -0500, Bergen, Jane wrote:
>I've lived in both Japan and the Middle East and have taught ESL
>to students from both cultures. Believe me, stereotypes go phhhttt into
>the wind when one has direct experience.

That raise a number of issues, the primary one (as I see it) being the
difference between acceptable verbal practice, acceptable personal writing
practices, and acceptable business writing practices. What is OK for
speech, or a mail like this, is NOT acceptable in a users manual or
business letter.

I was just reiterating comments from the instructors in this session, and
notes from translators (French, Arabian, and Japanese) to documentation
they translated for publication in these countries.

Of course, nothing is ever black and white, but what struck me
particularly were the comments from the translators about why they had not
made more verbatim translations of the supplied text, and why they had made
the changes in voice, gender, tense, etc.. These were native born residents
of the countries where the book was to be published, people with over 10
year's experience in translating for their market.

Susan Brown
Technical Communicator
JSC Systems Corp.
sbrown -at- jscsys -dot- com

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing

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