Re: Advice on rewriting translated ops manuals

Subject: Re: Advice on rewriting translated ops manuals
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2013 08:14:26 +0800 (WST)

From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> I don't see any problem with it the way it is, given the examples you
> show. I see no problem with addressing the reader directly, and I have
> no issues with using "will" in stating actions. I've never understood
> or agreed with the idea that you can't do those things. What matters
> most of all is the information being complete and accurate.

Like Keith I prefer the Chinese-written examples, but even if you felt both styles are equally good, that's a lot of money to spend simply to change a bunch of tomaytos to tomahtos.

In the case of 'will', there is a legitimate problem to be avoided. Saying that something will happen leaves it unclear whether it happens immediately or soon or at some unspecified time later, perhaps as a result of another process. So don't say 'the record will be deleted' if it's important to know that the deletion doesn't actually take effect till the overnight cleanup process runs.

The worst case would be where eliminating 'you' makes it less clear who performs an action, and retaining 'will' makes it unclear when the action happens. In Kevin's shoes I would recommend retaining the 'wills' except where they might cause ambiguity.

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