Global English and Machine Translation - How to write for an International Audience?

Many readers of the TechNet Wiki are not native English speakers. Some of these readers are very conformable reading English. Some will expect English to be written in a certain style. Some will rely on translation (by professional translators) or Machine Translation (including the Microsoft Translator Widget on the Wiki).

This article provides information for authors who would like to make their content accessible to a broader international audience.

Contributions from experienced writers and editors welcome.

Resources & References

Microsoft® Manual of Style for Technical Publications - http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/book.aspx?ID=6074
From Plain English to Global English (Rachel McAlpine) - http://www.webpagecontent.com/arc_archive/139/5/
Guidelines to help you write text for machine translation (milesj.plus.com) - http://www.milesj.plus.com/guide.htm

Examples

"Spark test tool steel": is relatively easy to understand for a metalsmith who is also a fluent English speaker. Someone who is less familiar with the English language and does not know the context will struggle to understand the meaning of that expressions. Machine Translation is very unlikely to produce good results. "Determining if metal is tool steel by observing sparks" is understandable by a broader audience.

 


See Also