In the EU, if the documentation includes safety information then it must be in 
at least one of the official languages of each country in the EU where the 
product is sold.

Safety information is a pretty broad category, but certainly electrical 
instructions for charging etc (like a GPS product), or information on 
electromagnetic radiation (again GPS), and anything that might distract a 
driver (GPS again) would be classed as safety information.

More generally - in the EU there a many people who speak many languages, but 
there are even more who don't - a GPS product that isn't documented in a home 
language won't sell well.

Rob Evans

-----Original Message-----
From: framers-bounces at lists.frameusers.com 
[mailto:framers-boun...@lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf Of Michael O'Neill
Sent: 21 May 2008 17:00
To: mathieu jacquet; framers at lists.frameusers.com
Subject: RE: Marketing a product: which language for the documentation

Here's my 2 cents:

1) Are their rules, laws, or regulations governing this in each country it will 
be sold in (note: type of product might have an impact here)

For example, in the USA there _may_ be FDA regulations about documentation 
localization for medical devices...FCC regulations about broadcast equipment 
documentation and telecommunications product documentation, etc...

2) The marketing decision for the product

I'm sure at one time or another, most of us English speakers have had the 
experience of assembling furniture/children's toys/gadgets/etc... where the 
instructions are not in English. This definitely contributes to the user 
impression of the product with regards to quality.  It also might have a 
relationship to extra costs for support, returns, malfunctions, etc... for the 
company selling the product. In many companies, Marketing depts. weigh these 
variables and decide.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: framers-bounces at lists.frameusers.com [mailto:framers-
> bounces at lists.frameusers.com] On Behalf Of mathieu jacquet
> Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 10:52 AM
> To: framers at lists.frameusers.com
> Subject: Marketing a product: which language for the documentation
> 
> 
> Hi to all,
> 
> here is a question from a client: he's just developed a new GPS-based
> product in France, has a "getting started" and "user manual" written (I'm
> currently working on it) in French and would like to know if he is
> supposed to have them translated...
> 
> I answered "yes, you have to have them translated into the languages of
> countries where you want the product marketted". But I am not 100% sure of
> the answer.
> 
> The other question is: does the client have to have both manuals
> translated?
> 
> Do you have any idea of official (governmental) documents about this kind
> of issue (Europe and/or US)?
> 
> Thank a lot!
> 
> Mathieu.
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