Re: Action -> Result

Subject: Re: Action -> Result
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- PRODOK -dot- CH>
Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 00:20:41 +0100


the English "you" usage has had a bad influence on technical writing style
in German. In fact, the classical technical writing style in German uses
the infinitive form, such as "Hebel nach links drehen" etc. Also, in
German, the passive voice is not as "bad" as they make us believe that it
is in English.

So, the bomb example would be worded as "Dieser Abschnitt beschreibt das
zur Detonation Bringen einer Bombe"

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering AG
Technical documentation and translations, Electronic Publishing
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch

Bridging the Knowledge Gap


> My group is interesting in knowing how other languages
> handle the construction Don wrote up; specifically, the *you*
> in "This process instructs you on ...."
> In our book, the section would begin with a heading like
> "How to Detonate a Bomb." We would not include the introduction
> "This process instructions you on how to detonate a bomb."
> We avoid using "you" whenever possible (reasons too lengthy
> to get into here).
> When Bob's intro is translated, what happens in the other
> languages (Japanese, German, etc.)?
> It is the American way to address one another casually as
> you. Is this a problem in translations?
> Emmy Aricioglu

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