Daniel, Art, All, Companies do not pick target languages just by the number of people who speak them. As you probably know, localization, if done right, is expensive. Therefore, most companies do research in each target country to make sure that they will sell enough product there to justify the cost of translating their products to the language spoken there.
Diane Gaskill ====================== -----Original Message----- From: framers-bounces+dgcaller=earthlink....@lists.frameusers.com [mailto:framers-bounces+dgcaller=earthlink.net at lists.frameusers.com]On Behalf Of Daniel Doornbos Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 11:41 AM To: Art Campbell; FrameMaker Discussion Forum; Framers (E-mail) Subject: RE: Translation choices? 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 such. Thanks for any guidance y'all can offer! Cheers, Art