Copy text as is or weed out / and () in source language
Thread poster: cbcoti
cbcoti
Local time: 09:42
English to Danish
Feb 23, 2015

Hi All,

As a technical writer I do not do translation work myself, but I must always have translation in mind when writing. I have come across a case of choosing the lesser evil and would like your opinion.

If I copy bits of text from one manual to another, would you prefer that I stick to the original as much as I can to keep consistency, or would you prefer that I weed out brackets and slashes in the newer manual?

Thanks.


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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:42
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Nice question Feb 24, 2015

How nice to have a technical writer thinking about us poor translators!

In response to your question, it really depends what the slashes and brackets are there for. If they serve a purpose, leave them in. If they are redundant, remove them.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 09:42
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Where the slashes are ambiguous, remove them Feb 24, 2015

Thanks from me too for a helpful question!

I would say leave the brackets - they usually serve a useful purpose.

However, I would suggest that where there is any chance of slashes being ambiguous, please remove them!

Slashes tend to be used more in Danish than in English, and probably other languages. Usually it is clear what they are short for, but not always.

If used as in m/k, søn/datter (as in man/woman, son/daughter) and so on, then it is clear enough, but sometimes the slash is not entirely clear, and it can be quite difficult to guess what is intended.


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cbcoti
Local time: 09:42
English to Danish
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the feedback Feb 25, 2015

As far as I know the problems with slashes and brackets are not big in languages like Danish or English.
You probably know that most documentation (user guides, manuals, help files, installation guides, etc. ) is written in English due to the larger cost of writing the source text in a language like Danish. And writing with localization in mind, as well as thinking of an ESL audience, is seen as essential for most technical writers I know.
In the case at hand we decided to keep the text as is to give localization less work. I was just wondering when to choose consistency and when to choose the better source text.

Thanks.


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