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Monday, July 16, 2012

Downtime & Language Barriers

Whilst I took some time out on holiday, I was able to get away from the almost non-existent UK summer and off to a much warmer climate.
It got me thinking about the language of IT and the difficulties that other non-native English speakers may be exposed too when trying to decipher Oracle docs or SAP notes, or any other form of documentation.

In my experience, I've often had difficulty reading SAP notes that have been translated to English from German and Oracle docs that have been written in English from the off, but badly worded.
I think the Plain English Campaign would have a field day with some of the material I've had to put up with.

If you're working with a mission critical system and you can't be 100% sure on what the documentation is asking you to do, could it reflect badly on you as a professional?  Possibly.

I guess Google Translate is probably the most preferred tool for translating notes and docutentation, unless the reader is confident enough in what they already know.
So would this mean those that perform IT as a profession, in a non-English speaking country, must know the products more in-depth and rely less on the documentation?  Maybe.