Although I’m based far away in New Zealand, it’s been lots of fun this week following the memoQfest and ETUG 2012 on Twitter. It’s also been interesting to see the differences in the social media buzz about the two conferences.
Between Translations is a blog about translation by Jayne Fox, German-to-English translator. I write about continuing professional development (CPD) for translators and the use of technology (especially CAT tools/TEnTs) to support our work.
Because I’m a German to English translator and am based in New Zealand, I’m located far away from my translation clients. This means that gaining new customers can sometimes be a challenge.
However, I have some really great translation clients and I’ve found most of them in the same way:
As translators, we’re very aware that English is a native language for some, and an international language for many.
It’s important to remember this when translating technical manuals into English. Many of the readers will be non-native speakers, so the language used should be straight-forward and unambiguous.
One thing that drives me batty me when I’m reading a manual is inconsistent terminology.
You know –when the writer or translator has used two different terms to refer to the same thing (gah!); calls a button something different to what it actually says on the screen (grrr…); or uses the same word to mean a variety of different things (sigh).
One advantage that we as translators have over technical writers is access to excellent terminology management systems.
Being able to write instructions is an essential skill when translating manuals.
Get them right and the users will be happy – get them wrong and the manual will be impenetrable.
So I’m excited to kick off my blog with this post, which is the first in a series on translating manuals into English. Today I’ll look at how to write clear instructions that users will find easy to read and follow.
Starting a blog has been a big step for me this year. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while but have kept putting off – mainly because I don’t have much time “between translations” to dedicate to it. But now I think the time is right, so here we are: I’ve started.