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The very rewarding daily work of helping customers write manuals, handbooks, and other internal docu

Not too long ago, a customer requested assistance in assembling a manual for EMEAAP. The document was mostly already written, but they were concerned that it lacked clarity since it had been first written in German and then machine translated. A lot of what I have done for customers in the last few years has been the clean-up of bad translations. About translations, translators, and machine translators: There are good ones out there. I even have one or two inexpensive machine translators that I recommend that customers purchase to save their staff the time of hand-translating entire documents, BUT (and this is a very big but) only if they have someone around with a near native English understanding of the topic and the document that should come out. Some things just don't translate well. Furthermore, I never recommend using just a translator - human or machine - for marketing or legal documents. You should always have a human being with experience with that kind of language take a look at all of those things. (Did I mention that I put myself through undergraduate education by working in law firms?)

Back to this document. This project was a five day, closed-door session with just one other person due to time constraints and extremely low resources. The document creator and I sat together analyzing the documents and comparing them to the German original. No, my German is not perfect, but I can absolutely find faulty translations and correct them. This is not brain surgery. This is about looking at something and knowing, instinctively, that something is wrong with it. You must investigate the words, consult with the client, and change things until it reads correctly. Special note about this document: I received this document today from my former client's legal team already redacted. This was very kind of them and reminds me exactly how I win every time by treating my customers well. They have replaced the company name with "Anonym". Since this came as a Word document, I have converted it to GIF for posting within this blog. The Word document can be forwarded to you if you are interested.

Photo by Levi XU on Unsplash

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