More Tips on Writing for Translation

When in the process of creating a document that you know up front will be translated at some stage, you should draft the document so that it is easier to translate and more understandable to the linguists working on your project. Doing so will  provide you with a more accurate and higher-quality end product.

The following references offer specific suggestions and tips for writing a document that will be translated.

1) I have mentioned the The International English Manual by the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Its purpose is to present a set of guidelines for authors who wish to express themselves more clearly to foreign readers, or readers whose first language is not American English. However, all the tips it provides are also applicable to writing for translation. This document can be found on the Los Alamos site and is available for public distribution. (For many years, it was not available at the Los Alamos site and since I had a copy and it was available for public distribution I also hosted this valuable resource on my site.

2) The Writing for Translation Guide published by the European Union’s Translation Centre can be found on the Centre’s site here. This document is focused on European Union documents, but gives provides helpful information for anyone drafting documents that will be translated. It also provides a list of related reference documents on the last page.

3) A good book on this topic is The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, translatable Documentation for a Global Market found found at Amazon here. This book’s target audience is authors who create technical content for global audiences.


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