Re: Using Contractions in Software Manuals

Subject: Re: Using Contractions in Software Manuals
From: Andres Heuberger <andresh -at- FXTRANS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 14:07:09 -0400

From a translation/localization perspective, use of contractions is not an
important consideration. Any good translator won't have any problems
understanding them. Conversely, it might be worth looking into the
qualifications of any translator who _does_ have problems understanding

In translation, contractions are important, however, in that they often
point to stylist preferences on the part of writers. In our experience,
writers who use contractions often prefer a livelier, less monotone style
of writing.

That's good and fine but this does cause to make translation more
time-consuming and expensive because:
a) the more consistent and repetititve, the easier (read: cheaper/faster)
the translation
b) along with any increase in use of slang or jargon, the risk for
misunderstandings and mistranslations also increase

This is true for Eastern and Western languages alike.


Andres Heuberger andresh -at- fxtrans -dot- com
ForeignExchange Translations, Inc.
Multilingual Compliance Management

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