Communication on Multilingual Documentation for End-Users: Communication on multilingual documentation for end-users and on article editing for professionals - with a focus on the editing and translation processes

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

See relations at Aarhus University

Birthe Mousten - Lecturer

  • Department of Language and Business Communication
The first cross-cultural project deals with the results from testing of user documentation and the subsequent mediation in the translation and editing processes in connection with another language version. This is a time-consuming process with complex problems involved. Ideally, documentation is made from scratch in each language; in practice, the text is made in the original language, then translated and subsequently tested in the new language environment. The industry struggles hard to rationalize the process, but no best practice seems to be prevalent. The second cross-cultural project deals with the results from the mediation in connection with a translation and editing project, where a Danish technical article was translated for an American technical magazine with a very broad audience. In both projects, the negotiations on the editing questions were the focal point. As a spin-off of earlier translation projects between the University of Wisconsin-Stout and the Aarhus School of Business, these projects concentrated on the negotiations in connection with editing texts. The tight schedule ensured that only the communication needed to make the final versions was involved. Therefore, even though the process was collective, the actual work was to a high extent made in the two countries, and the results of the actual changes were supplemented with the results that emerged in the translation and editing processes. In the first project, the US students concentrated on the test results and produced improved documentation, and the Danish students made complementary improvements through critical editing and translation into Danish. In the second project, the Danish students translated a Danish technical article into English, and the US students commented on the text. These processes highlighted interesting differences in the architecture of setting up texts and contents. The results from the project proved rewarding. The eventual texts, and the process of setting up texts, reading them and understanding them differed, not only as a reflection of the different backgrounds of the students, but also as a reflection of the different cultural backgrounds of the language environments in question.
19 Jun 2006

Event (Conference)

TitleRundt om den instruktive tekst

ID: 32386435