When leaving the source text
Thread poster: Javier Wasserzug

Javier Wasserzug  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:08
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 6, 2010

I am translating instructions on how to use a machine. I have to leave the source text (ON/OFF, START/PAUSE, etc) because that is what the user is going to see when using the machine.

This is how it looks:

Presione el botón ON/OFF ((encender/apagar)…

My question is:

Should I exclude the "encender/apagar" once it was explained or is customary to continue using the English words every time they appear in the explanation assuming the Spanish speaker user already knows what it is? What would you recommend?

I have to explain here that this text needs to be very simple and clear to understand. Otherwise is not going to work for the Spanish speakers it intends to reach.

Thank you very much for your help!!


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salma 2
Egypt
Local time: 05:08
German to Arabic
+ ...
yes, you should exclude the explanation Oct 6, 2010

Hi there,
i think you should exclude the explanation.After explaining once ,the simple words of the source text will be enough, especially because that is what the user is going to see when using the machine. This way the text should be less complicated for the user.And that would make him concentrate more on the steps for using the machine (which is the real point).
Good luck


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:08
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Javier Oct 6, 2010

Javier Wasserzug wrote:
Should I exclude the "encender/apagar" once it was explained or is customary to continue using the English words every time they appear in the explanation assuming the Spanish speaker user already knows what it is? What would you recommend?


A user manual isn't read from start to finish. Users often start reading in the middle of the manual, in the middle of a chapter, or even in the middle of a page. So you can't assume that the user would have seen the explanatory translation previously. So you have to add it, every time, if there is enough room for it.


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
I think both Salma and Samuel have a point... Oct 6, 2010

... and the truth is somewhere between the two. You can't translate every single instance, but you should make sure it's easy for the reader to go back a little to check what it means. Although I would have thought that millions of non-English speakers around the world would know what ON/OFF means, and quite possibly START and PAUSE as well.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 21:08
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Glossary Oct 7, 2010

Can you add a glossary of terms with their translations in the front or back of the manual?

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mariale125
Local time: 22:08
English to Spanish
Does the manual have pictures? Oct 7, 2010

I notice that in most manuals there is a picture (or pictures) of the product (a machine, an artefact, a remote control, etc.) that gives a brief description of how to install it, how to operate it, and points out where the buttons are, how are they called, what are they for and other useful, simple and specific information. So, when reading the manual the user can go back to the first pages (where usually the images are) and check out, for instance, where is the 'ON/OFF'(encender/apagar) button.

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