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Handbuch

English translation: manual

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11:58 Aug 3, 2006
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial - IT (Information Technology) / Content management
German term or phrase: Handbuch
This may sound like a silly question, but I am translating an article on content management and cannot decide whether "handbook" or "manual" should be used to translate "Handbuch".

For example:

"Firma XYZ präsentiert XML-Handbuchverwaltung"

"Der Integrationsdienstleiter XYZ präsentiert eine Lösung zur Erstellung und Verwaltung von Handbüchern [...]"

The text mentions how Handbücher are a must in today's business, both for internal quality assurance and for users.

Is there a difference between the two? Of course, I could cover all bases by saying "manuals and handbooks", but that isn't practical in this case.

All input welcome

Many thanks


Ian
xxxIanW
Local time: 02:39
English translation:manual
Explanation:
I think "manual" is nearly always appropriate. "Handbook" not so much.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 mins (2006-08-03 12:09:15 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just googled both: "manual" wins hands down with 638 million hits to 333 million for "handbook"
;-)
Selected response from:

Woodstock
Germany
Local time: 02:39
Grading comment
In the end, I asked the customers, who insisted on "manual". Still, plenty of useful info there for posterity. Thanks all!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +7manual
Woodstock
3 +3handbook
Steven Sidore
3 +1Manual
Aniello Scognamiglio
4Not for points
Stephen Sadie
3documentation
HarryHedgehog


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Manual


Explanation:
Hi Ian,

that's the term we (me and the companies I used to work for as a trainer) used.


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Note added at 5 mins (2006-08-03 12:04:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

And we also used "handouts".

Aniello Scognamiglio
Germany
Local time: 02:39
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 69

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marcus Malabad: from an IT standpoint (XML), the industry term is manual
1 hr
  -> thanks, Marcus, the context is "content management", IT, XML... That's why I would NOT use "handbook" here.
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Not for points


Explanation:
I have encountered both in this context and a quick web search backs this up. I always use the term which is used or preferred by my client in such cases. I think that's safest and best, Ian.

Stephen Sadie
Germany
Local time: 02:39
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 88
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
manual


Explanation:
I think "manual" is nearly always appropriate. "Handbook" not so much.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 mins (2006-08-03 12:09:15 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Just googled both: "manual" wins hands down with 638 million hits to 333 million for "handbook"
;-)


Woodstock
Germany
Local time: 02:39
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 8
Grading comment
In the end, I asked the customers, who insisted on "manual". Still, plenty of useful info there for posterity. Thanks all!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  rainerc: definitely
2 mins
  -> Thanks, Rainer. Certainly goes hand in hand with technical subject matter.

agree  BrigitteHilgner: 20 years ago I would have said "handbook", but at least among my clients (and material I read) this word seems to have gone out of fashion.
16 mins
  -> Thanks, Brigitte. I agree with your comment.

agree  Steffen Walter
28 mins
  -> Thank you, Steffen.

agree  Marketing-Lang.: Especially since these days manuals come on CD as a PDF - there's nothing to take in your hand anyway!
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Mike.

agree  Susan Madden: Personally, I always use "manual"
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Susan. Same here.

agree  Erik Macki
2 hrs
  -> Thank you Erik.

agree  xxxnatalia m
5 hrs
  -> Thank you, Natalia.
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
handbook


Explanation:
It's a very good question. I'm going to say handbook, but let me explain why. Looking to the OED:

handbook A compendious book or treatise for guidance in any art, occupation, or study; spec. a book containing concise information for the tourist.

Manual gen. A handbook or textbook, esp. a small or compendious one; a concise treatise, an abridgement. Also in extended use.


So, from this we see that the two are synonymous, but that manual tends to be more abridged than a handbook. Looking at your sentence, I can't quite tell whether we're talking about software for administering separate smaller publications (i.e. manuals) or for administering a series of comprehensive works (handbooks). My gut says that if they are saying "how Handbücher are a must in today's business, both for internal quality assurance and for users", then I think we're talking about broader, more comprehensive texts that help users throughout a corporation or organisation stay on one page.

But I can see the case for manual too, so good luck!


Steven Sidore
Germany
Local time: 02:39
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Stephen Sadie
3 mins

agree  Derek Gill Franßen: Nice reasoning! :-)
15 mins

agree  TonyTK: Nice shirt
20 mins
  -> Strange. That picture has been there since I joined proz, probably 4 years ago now, and never a word on it. Now two comments in a week. Go figure.
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35 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
documentation


Explanation:
An umbrella term as an alternative, to solve the handbook/manual dilemma.

"Documentation management" is widespread.

HarryHedgehog
Germany
Local time: 02:39
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 39
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