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Max The Magnificent
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Re: Getting the right idiom
Max The Magnificent   5/5/2014 2:54:27 PM
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@Stargzer: Beware the wet corner, for therein lurks the skid demon.

That is almost poetic -- I would be happy if all manuals read like this. For example, here's the way an oscilloscope manual should read:

Gently apply the probe to the pin in question. Should the desired waveform appear in full glory on the display, then we offer our heartfelt felicitations; if not, we commiserate and weep with you, and we humbly suggest you join us in the discussions on troubleshooting later in this manuscript.

Stargzer
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Getting the right idiom
Stargzer   5/5/2014 2:46:34 PM
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A friend told me long ago about an article on different motorcycle manual translations. 

My favorite was from a Japanese motorcycle manual: "Beware the wet corner, for therein lurks the skid demon."

I don't think there's a better way to say than that in any language!

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: To read or not to read.....
Max The Magnificent   5/5/2014 10:02:42 AM
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@MeasuremrentBlues: Usually, I just three the manual away...

You are certainly the man I would want to write my manuals LOL

Measurement.Blues
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Re: To read or not to read.....
Measurement.Blues   5/3/2014 6:56:40 PM
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@Max,

When I worked at Extech, I spent many hours rewriting manuals that were translated from Mandarin. Usually, I just three the manual away, learned how to use the instrument, and wrote a new manual from scratch.

Measurement.Blues
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Re: Machine Translation
Measurement.Blues   5/3/2014 6:54:03 PM
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@Sam,

I know someone in Switzerland who freelances doing translation of technicallaterials from German to English. He was an  excelent editor in his day, having run Personal Engineering & Instrumentation News.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Machine Translation
Max The Magnificent   5/2/2014 11:55:48 AM
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@Samuel: I work in Switzerland and lately I've been dealing with a number of manuals/datasheets written by German companies...

Thanks for your comment -- in fact, this prompted me to write this follow-up blog

 

SamuelBoegli
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Re: Machine Translation
SamuelBoegli   5/2/2014 9:07:57 AM
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I work in Switzerland and lately I've been dealing with a number of manuals/datasheets written by German companies. At first I despaired at understanding their statements and my coworkers asked me to stop my cursing, when I hit upon the secret. The trick is to read the manuals with English vocabulary but with the grammar rules of the original language! Now the sentences actually make a lot of sense. Of course, I don't speak Chinese or Japanese so most manuals still don't make sense but it's something... 

The upside is you learn a lot of new vocabulary. Or when's the last time you heard someone say "forenoon"?

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Example manual
Max The Magnificent   5/1/2014 11:35:41 AM
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@jjulian274: Usage of the fine instrument that you have purchased is totally intuitive, but should you have a reason to inquire for help...

LOL -- I love it!

jjulian274
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Example manual
jjulian274   5/1/2014 11:22:21 AM
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Usage of the fine instrument that you have purchased is totally intuitive, but should you have a reason to inquire for help, please reference the installed help function which has been very useful for our customers for the past 20 years.  To access help, press the mode select button, select other, and select manual operation.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Machine Translation
Max The Magnificent   5/1/2014 9:51:36 AM
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@cookiejar: Get on to Google Translate and translate it into another language and then back into English.

Unfortunately, this may explain a lot of user manuals (sad face)

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