For those of you in proximity to Silicon Valley, let me point out that 
Daniel is our speaker tonight at the Silicon Valley Chapter of STC:
http://stc-siliconvalley.org/programs/topics/2007_02.html

--Guy K. Haas
   Software Exegete in Silicon Valley


Daniel Doornbos wrote:
> 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



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