Technical Communication

This model centralises Tech Comm. This model is designed to describe communications practices in companies that are highly technical, so is less descriptive of communications practice in companies whose product is not technical. As in the PTC model described earlier, Tech Comm resides between Corp Comm and PR.

...continue reading
0

This model describes another way of operating and conceptualising Corporate Communication, Technical Communication, and Public Relations as three distinct, but interrelated, departments or functions.

A: Corp Comm and Tech Comm joint-author messages for external stakeholders; PR acts as gatekeeper
B: Tech Comm authors messages for external stakeholders; PR acts as gatekeeper
C: Tech Comm and Corp Comm joint-author messages for internal stakeholders
D: Corp Comm authors non-technical messages for external stakeholders; PR acts as gatekeeper

...continue reading
0

Let's consider what is these days a heresy: Corporate Communication is separate to Public Relations. The two operate largely in isolation, similar to the Marketing and PR silos described in the A ("Apart"/"Silo") model.

We will call this Model X, and illustrate it using the following model:

In Model X, PR and Corporate Communication are separate. PR handles all communications targeted at external stakeholders; Corp Comm creates all communications intended for internal stake holders.

Simple? Perhaps. But in companies that offer technical goods and services, can such a separation be operationally realistic? Must there not be some informational overlap? If the public require product knowledge, yes. If internal communications contain product information, yes. Given the certainty of these practical requirements therefore, how can these two functions be isolated? Stakeholders - both internal and external - will have technical information requirements, but the model features no such explicit linkage illustrating the mode or source of this adhesive.

...continue reading
0

Audience Awareness

Business and technical writing is often, arguably always, composed for the consumption of an audience, known or imagined. In formal writing on Technical Communication, audiences are often referred to as “discourse communities”. The term "user community" is also common, and less academic. "Readership" is another less technical term. Undoubtedly there are more. Could the quantity of labels be interpreted as evidence of the significance of the "audience"?

...continue reading
0

The following is a summary of notes I took on a series of presentations that I attended during a localization conference back in my Tokyo days. (It's surprising what you can find on old hard drives!)

The contents are as follows: Frequently made mistakes [when localizing into Chinese from Japanese]; Suggestions For a Functional Localization Model (the diagram); Chinese Character and [Other] Character Codes (and reference websites); Translation Methods; Points on Document Creation; Font Types; An Outline of Printing; Other Problems.

中国語ローカライゼーション分科会レポート

ウィルキンソン ケネス

...continue reading
0

Quantification is a component of extreme importance in the field of technical translation. Numbers, in their many and varied guises, are responsible for a galaxy of translation mistakes. In English, small quantities are customarily counted in dozens; in Japanese, as tens, hence sūjū and jūsū, which are usually correctly, if not always appropriately, translated as “several tens” and “ten and several”, respectively. Although both are accurate in their expression of numerical value, both are alliteratively unnatural. A more effective translation would be “a few dozen” and “just over a dozen”, respectively. Just to confound things however, terms like sūman are usually translated appropriately, i.e. as "tens of thousands".

...continue reading
0

All the following terms express future continuation, but their differences and degrees of appropriateness pose substantial challenges for technical translators:

shōrai (将来), kongo (今後), kongo mo (今後も), kongo tomo (今後とも)

For all three terms, the most frequently encountered English rendering is “in [the] future”. However, in most cases this is an over-translation. These terms, despite their standard, dictionary definitions, amplify a statement by suggesting, quite strongly, (to native Japanese speakers at least) emphasis or determination. As a result, these terms are usually best exempted from the translation. Forcing the translation can result in unintended meaning loss or meaning change.

...continue reading
0

Early in the article, the authors declare that little current research focuses primarily on visual communication. Perhaps this is due to the divisibility difficulties their own case studies highlight, and because evaluating visual communication in stark separation from usability is an undertaking of doubtful practicable worth.[1]

...continue reading
0

Effectiveness and Limitations of General Methodology and Specific Methods

In case #2 we first encountered the researchers’ probing technique, in which testers escalate the specificity of questions to extract increasingly detailed answers. What regulates this probing is not mentioned (for instance: does questioning cease upon satisfactory answer?). If probing failed to yield insight, the testers drew subjects’ attention to specific matters, but could a subject’s lack of comment not be enlightening?[1] Also, by mentioning a feature, did the testers exaggerate its importance, leading subjects to award it unwarranted attention and inflate their responses accordingly?

...continue reading
0

Field of Research/Key Research Questions

It is essential that technical communicators be literate designers of visual information, since the more they know, the better will be the results of their collaboration with graphics artists. The principles governing visual communication evolved from those used for printed information. [1] Due to ever increasing preference for online media, information professionals including graphic designers, multimedia authors, and technical communicators are endeavouring to expand and improve on existing, print-oriented design guidelines to accommodate and exploit the idiosyncrasies and benefits of online delivery.

...continue reading
0