Using International English to prepare technical text for translation

I. Buican, V. Hriscu, M. Amador
Proceedings Professional Communication Conference The New Face of Technical Communication: People, Processes, Products'  
Communication and translation are facilitated when authors write in uncomplicated prose. Straightforward prose is easy to understand and translate; complicated, convoluted sentences and long, unpronounceable words make comprehension taxing and result in unintentional, yet often unavoidable, mistakes. Having recognized the need for documents in English that are easy to read and understand, the International Communication Committee at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been working, for the past
more » ... hree years, to develop an expertise in and a methodology for writing documents in International English, that is, English for those whose native language is not English. So far, we have applied these guidelines to documents intended for presentation in English to an international audience of technical experts. We have also used them to improve the readability of English text written for a culturally diverse group of people at Los Alamos. We believe that the guidelines apply equally well to the preparation of technical text for translation because, usually, translators are native speakers of the target language, not of the source language. Considering that professional translators are primarily language experts, not technical experts, their difficulty in understanding original text written without an awareness of the needs for subsequent translation can have the undesirable but not surprising consequence of an inadequate rendering of the original concepts in another language. An easy and quick solution to
doi:10.1109/ipcc.1993.593756 fatcat:6s7mppsogrdqtbnhq7o62egl6y