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ATTENTION! vs. WARNING!

English translation: (usage discussion)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:attention / warning / caution
English translation:(usage discussion)
Entered by: invguy
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23:26 Jan 3, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
/ labels, instructions
English term or phrase: ATTENTION! vs. WARNING!
It's a note on a label that says a water-containing fluid (in this case, paint) needs to be protected from freezing (i.e. not to be stored at temperatures below 0° C). Would it be more adequate to use "ATTENTION! Protect from freezing!" or "WARNING! ..."

While we're on that, does anyone know of any hard rules on using "Attention!" vs. "Warning!" in label (or other informative/instructional/prescriptive) texts?
invguy
Bulgaria
Local time: 03:18
Attention, warning, caution
Explanation:
I think Attention is meant to draw your attention, not necessarily to a hazard;
Caution would give you a description of precautions to take before using the article;
Warning would give you a description of hazards inherent to the use of the article, such as inhalation etc.
HTH
Selected response from:

NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 20:18
Grading comment
Thanks a lot, everyone, for the enlightening discussion. I needed it in view of a paint packaging design that I'm doing. It contains text in 4 languages, and the translations provided by the client are, to put it mildly, appalling. So I decided to take the initiative and fix those of them that I can - with the hope of talking the client into fixing the rest. I've given some thought to the attention/warning/etc. issue on previous occasions, but that was before I knew about KudoZ ;) Now I decided to get that straight once and forever - and you've all been extremely helpful.

Nancy: exactly the kind of explanation I was hoping to get. Thanks! (also for bringing 'caution' into the picture)

Elisabeth: good point!

Hamo: I really regret that I can't split the points :)

JSC: I was thinking along those lines, actually. I'll check with the client whether a (kinda) caption is really necessary. If it isn't, I'll leave it just as "Protect from freezing!", maybe in all caps or with a colour accent for attracting attention. After all, it's not a hazard to people, it's just that the properties of water-soluble paint deteriorate if you let it freeze.

Rius: consumer psychology + marketing, ditto - ultimately, that's what it's all about :)

David: your comment is dead right - my fault for not being precise enough in my intro.

Thanks also to everyone who commented. If the client insists on a caption, I'll go with 'caution'.

And - best wishes for the New Year, all!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +20Attention, warning, caution
NancyLynn
4 +4real danger
Elisabeth Toda-v.Galen
5WarningDavid Moore
5Caution or WarningRius
5Warning vs Caution
vixen
4attention, caution, warning
R. A. Stegemann
3test
Ralf Lemster
3 -1Note:Joy Christensen


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +20
attention! vs. warning!
Attention, warning, caution


Explanation:
I think Attention is meant to draw your attention, not necessarily to a hazard;
Caution would give you a description of precautions to take before using the article;
Warning would give you a description of hazards inherent to the use of the article, such as inhalation etc.
HTH

NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 20:18
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 473
Grading comment
Thanks a lot, everyone, for the enlightening discussion. I needed it in view of a paint packaging design that I'm doing. It contains text in 4 languages, and the translations provided by the client are, to put it mildly, appalling. So I decided to take the initiative and fix those of them that I can - with the hope of talking the client into fixing the rest. I've given some thought to the attention/warning/etc. issue on previous occasions, but that was before I knew about KudoZ ;) Now I decided to get that straight once and forever - and you've all been extremely helpful.

Nancy: exactly the kind of explanation I was hoping to get. Thanks! (also for bringing 'caution' into the picture)

Elisabeth: good point!

Hamo: I really regret that I can't split the points :)

JSC: I was thinking along those lines, actually. I'll check with the client whether a (kinda) caption is really necessary. If it isn't, I'll leave it just as "Protect from freezing!", maybe in all caps or with a colour accent for attracting attention. After all, it's not a hazard to people, it's just that the properties of water-soluble paint deteriorate if you let it freeze.

Rius: consumer psychology + marketing, ditto - ultimately, that's what it's all about :)

David: your comment is dead right - my fault for not being precise enough in my intro.

Thanks also to everyone who commented. If the client insists on a caption, I'll go with 'caution'.

And - best wishes for the New Year, all!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Thierry LOTTE: I would say "caution" as far as a "danger" is possible...
2 mins
  -> merci Thierry

agree  Soizic CiFuentes: Exactly. I was going to post more and less the same and got an error, dont' know why!
13 mins
  -> great minds think alike ! ;-)

agree  Ségolène Neilson
21 mins
  -> thanks mate!

agree  joannap
28 mins
  -> thanks !

agree  xxxBrandis: caution vs. danger comes closer. I am taking my german answer back.
30 mins
  -> it's a *hazard* of being multilingual :-)thanks !

agree  Ildiko Santana
42 mins
  -> thanks!

agree  xxxsarahl
48 mins
  -> thanks Sarah!

agree  Lesley Clarke
1 hr
  -> thanks !

agree  Refugio: Caution, yes; danger, no
1 hr
  -> thanks!

agree  Rusinterp
1 hr
  -> thanks!

neutral  R. A. Stegemann: Warnings also provide instructions of what to do and not to do.
2 hrs
  -> yes, thanks!

agree  chopra_2002
3 hrs
  -> thanks !

agree  Richard Benham: I think ¨caution¨ might be the appropriate level of seriousness for this case.
4 hrs
  -> I agree, thanks for the remark!

agree  Fuad Yahya
6 hrs
  -> thanks!

agree  Steven Capsuto: Caution is the best option, I think.
7 hrs
  -> I agree, thanks for the remark!

agree  Rajiv Arora
8 hrs
  -> thanks!

agree  Aisha Rishi
12 hrs
  -> thanks!

agree  kairosz (Mary Guerrero)
16 hrs
  -> thanks!

agree  Mario Marcolin
17 hrs
  -> thanks!

agree  Gordon Darroch: caution
19 hrs
  -> thanks!

neutral  vixen: Warning means possible danger to a person; caution means possible danger to equipment
1 day11 hrs
  -> I didn't know that

agree  senin
2 days15 hrs
  -> thanks !
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
real danger


Explanation:
To me, the difference is the consequence. Whenever there is "warning", there is a consequence in case of not abiding, whilst "attention" is just something to be aware of.

Elisabeth Toda-v.Galen
France
Local time: 02:18
Native speaker of: Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Refugio: For that reason, 'attention' is often ignored. Better to put Caution or Warning to get their attention, as tgere are indeed undesirable consequences here though not real danger.
1 hr
  -> my answer concerns the 2nd part of the question (attention vs warning)

agree  R. A. Stegemann
2 hrs

agree  Paulistano
4 hrs

agree  Aisha Rishi
12 hrs

agree  Mario Marcolin
17 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
attention, caution, warning


Explanation:
Attention: For whatever reason you should take note of what follows.

Caution: You should consider what follows before taking action. There is a danger present of which you should be made aware. It may or may not occur, if you perform the following.

Warning: Performing what follows results in the following damage. The danger is known and will occur, if you engage in the following.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-01-04 02:05:30 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

In answer to your first question the appropriate word would be WARNING, because the stated danger will occur, if the temperature falls below zero.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-01-04 02:09:27 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Even though the condition is uncertain, the penalty is not. The penalty will occur, if the condition is present. There is no doubt!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-01-04 02:14:33 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Danger: There is a danger present. If you wish to avoid it, you should consider the following.

R. A. Stegemann
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 09:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 132
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
Hinweis
Note:


Explanation:
Note: This product must be stored at temperatures above ......
or
Storage conditions: ....

Unless this is a product of greater material value, I think that both "Warning" and "Attention" are too strong. Actually, "Attention" wouldn't be used in this sense at all. It is used in the combination "attention must be paid/given to proper storage ...". As mentioned above, "Warning" would imply a hazard.

Joy Christensen
Local time: 02:18
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  R. A. Stegemann: It is not a matter related to the severity of the danger, rather to the likelihood of its occurrence!
14 mins
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9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Caution or Warning


Explanation:
I think caution is best, because it is advising to be careful.
Warning is o.k., too, because labels usually use it for people to pay attention to what is written (most people don´t read, that is fact).
So, linguistically, "caution" is best, but as it is a label, "warning" would also do. What shouldn´t go, though, is "attention", which merely indicates they want to grab your attention, but maybe the consumer is not interested in paying attention. I hope you see what I mean. There is some consumer psycology and marketing in that idea.

Rius
Canada
Local time: 17:18
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
attention! vs. warning!
Warning


Explanation:
would certainly be my choice. One comment on your intro, though, is I think valid: "protected from freezing" means "not to be stored in any place where the temperature MAY FALL BELOW 0°C", rather than "at temperatures below 0°C", which suggests an AMBIENT temperature below 0°C, rather than a place where the temperature may drop below that.

David Moore
Local time: 02:18
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 860
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1 day11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Warning vs Caution


Explanation:
(post-grading)

In technical writing, WARNING is used when there is a danger for bodily harm.
CAUTION is used when there is a possible danger to the equipment.
ATTENTION or NOTE can be used for more general pieces of information.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-01-05 10:44:42 (GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Warning
Warning notices are used in this publication to emphasize that hazardous voltages, currents, temperatures, or other conditions that could cause personal injury exist in this equipment or may be associated with its use.
In situations where inattention could cause either personal injury or damage to equipment, a Warning notice is used.

Caution
Caution notices are used where equipment might be damaged if care is not taken.

Note:
Notes merely call attention to information that is especially significant to under-standing and operating the equipment

http://www.google.nl/search?q=cache:cEbe9rghRHwJ:www.gefanuc...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2004-01-05 10:47:07 (GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

WARNING: ELECTRICAL HAZARD! MISUSE OR FAILURE TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS PROPERLY MAY RESULT IN PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH!

CAUTION: No risk of personal injury; however, misuse or failure to follow instructions may result in damage of equipment.

NOTE: No risk of personal injury or equipment damage; however, misuse or failure to follow instructions may prevent proper performanceof the equipment

http://www.caryaudio.com/pdfs/cad211m.pdf

vixen
Local time: 03:18
Native speaker of: Native in DutchDutch
PRO pts in pair: 84
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2 days8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
attention! vs. warning!
test


Explanation:
Please ignore this answer - a member received an error message when trying to answer, and I'm trying to replicate the problem.

Thanks, Ralf

Ralf Lemster
Germany
Local time: 02:18
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 377
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