Writing for a Global Audience

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Information about Writing for a Global Audience
Business & Mgmt

Published on March 7, 2014

Author: lk81924

Source: slideshare.net


As a technical communicator in today's interconnected world, technology makes it easy for you to work on a development team with members located all over the world. In much the same way, more and more of the technical content that we produce is used by people in other countries -- people who speak different languages, who come from different cultures, and who use different technology.

In this professional-development presentation, Larry Kunz describes the ways in which you can develop technical content so that it is more easily translated and so that it can be used easily by people all over the globe.

Writing for a Global Audience March 2014 Larry Kunz lkunz@sdicorp.com

About Me • More than 30 years in Tech Comm – – – – Software documentation Marketing Project management Consulting • Fellow, Society for Technical Communication (STC)

What We’ll Cover Today • Defining our terms • Writing for international audiences • Cultural considerations • Managing the project

Defining Our Terms Translation: Rewriting content in a different language Localization (L10N): (Re)designing a product for a specific international market Internationalization (I18N): Making a product suitable for localization in any market

How Translation Works • Machine translation – “Garbage In, Garbage Out” – Good content in, good translated content out • Translation Memory (TM) – Content must be identical • Human translation – Required to resolve ambiguity, inconsistency – As a writer, your task is to facilitate

Writing for an International Audience The writer must: • Use unambiguous sentence structure Before connecting the printer, on which you will create hard copies, begin the process by starting the setup program. Start the setup program. Then connect the printer. You will use the printer to create hard copies. • Find examples that are not culture-specific • Avoid using idioms

Writing for an International Audience (continued) The writer must: • Use consistent terms and phrases • Allow space for expansion • Include appropriate artwork The Global English Style Guide (John Kohl, SAS Press, 2008) http://www.globalenglishstyle.com/

Cultural Considerations • Artwork and graphics

Cultural Considerations • Learning styles • Country-specific factors • Typographical/layout preferences

Example: Website Design – China

Example: Website Design – USA

Other Considerations for the Writer • Rely on your editor • Respond promptly to questions from translators

Managing the Project 1. Be sure the plan includes time for I18N. 2. Focus on I18N from Day One. 3. Ensure that everyone has what they need.

Managing the Project The project manager must consider: • Scheduling • Budgeting • Defining the process • Communicating with writers and translators

Summary Writers: • Write for your audience – wherever they live • Consider different cultures • Work with editors and translators Project managers: • Plan carefully for I18N • Facilitate communication

Thank You Larry Kunz lkunz@sdicorp.com

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