Re: Localising & maintaining WinHelp

Subject: Re: Localising & maintaining WinHelp
From: Bill Burns <BillDB -at- ILE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 11:47:16 -0700

Jennifer wrote:

> We are about to start a new project which will include online help.
> This
> is the first time my company will be providing this facility with its
> products. The manuals, and WinHelp, will initially be done in English
> and will be translated into several languages. The different national
> standards
> for each country will also need to be included.
>
> What issues should we concider to facilitate the localising and
> maintenance of WinHelp?
>
Why don't you take a spin over to http://www.ile.com and request a copy
of "Accent on Internationalization." It has about 15 pages dealing with
the physical prepation of files for localization (not as much on the
actual language considerations).

Here are some basics mentioned in that brochure:

1. Allow for up to 30% text expansion. We English speakers have a
penchant for terse speech that other cultures don't necessarily share.
In addition, English syntax is oftern more compact than other languages.

2. Avoid jargon, idioms, humor, and other culturally dependent tropes
and characteristics. They often require a cultural context for them to
make any sense.

3. Make sure terminology is consistent across the software, hardware,
and documentation. Develop a localization glossary to help maintain
consistency.

There are more issues to consider, but these are some of the most
important.

Bill Burns
Senior Technical Writer
ILE Communications Group
billdb -at- ile -dot- com

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