Hello Art,

Mandarin Chinese is the single most widely spoken "first language," at
873 million speakers, according to the 2007 World Almanac. If you're
targeting China itself, you would translate into Simplified Chinese, a
remnant of the Chairman Mao years. Spanish is the No. 2 language at 322
million, followed by English at 309.

These facts are not enough to base your decision, however. For example,
there are dozens of languages spoken in Africa. But the lingua franca
for much of Africa is French (no pun intended). So you might get more
mileage from your translation dollar if you chose French over German,
assuming you have a lot of customers in Africa.

Many countries require documentation in the native language in order to
receive safety certification, such as TUV in Germany. Since your message
mentioned an electrocution hazard, you definitely want to look into the
safety certification issue as well.

I think your Marketing folks have a lot more research to do before they
pick target languages. Your translation firm, if you have one, and your
overseas partners and distributors, may also be helpful in selecting
your target languages.

Daniel Doornbos
Technical Writer
Promise Technology, Inc.
408 228-1437
danield at promise.com

-----Original Message-----
From: framers-bounces+danield=promise....@lists.frameusers.com
[mailto:framers-bounces+danield=promise.com at lists.frameusers.com] On
Behalf Of Art Campbell
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 9:51 AM
To: FrameMaker Discussion Forum; Framers (E-mail)
Subject: Translation choices?

For you guys that are having documents translated, or people
investigating it, and any listers from outside the US...

Are there any commonly used or accepted EU guidelines for picking what
languages to translate to from US English?

Our marketing department is pushing to translate into multiple languages
so lighting equipment installers around the world who may not be English
speakers, well-educated or multi-lingual, can avoid electrocuting
themselves. So although multiple language translation may be on the
horizon, they're thinking to start with Spanish, German, and Chinese.
These seem like decent choices, but I think they're based on sales
figures into those areas rather than any research into regulations and

Thanks for any guidance y'all can offer!


Art Campbell
art.campbell at gmail.com
  "... In my opinion, there's nothing in this world beats a '52 Vincent
               and a redheaded girl." -- Richard Thompson
                             No disclaimers apply.
                                     DoD 358

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