Subject: RE: ESL
From: Bill Burns <BillDB -at- ILE -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 09:40:38 -0600

To expand on Maaike's and salatas -at- micron -dot- com's messages, the issue is with
clarity. As long as the part of speech is unambiguous, -ing endings should
not be a problem for a good translator. I think the same could be said for
nonnative speakers. I wouldn't avoid gerunds in headings, but I'd make sure
to use them consistently--for example, only to call out tasks.

I'd also look at issues such as sentence structure, pronoun reference, and
article usage. The cumulative effect of the writing is what matters. If you
use a lot of embedded clauses, drop relative pronouns and articles, and
sprinkle long strings of modifiers throughout your document, nonnative
readers will have more trouble.

Bill Burns - Eccentric Technology Consultant
International Communications Design & Development
billdb -at- ile -dot- com
Y2K Complacent

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