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Subject: Examples of multilingual documents

Following up on action items from last week, here are some multilingual
documents I've come across:

1. A single user manual containing the product's documentation in multiple
languages (in Israel, typically English, Hebrew, Arabic and several European
languages like French, German, Italian, Greek). I've often seen this with
manuals that accompany mobile phones, cameras, and small electronic
equipment. The medical industry also produces a single document (typically
printed on 2 sides of a single sheet of paper) that documents everything
about the medication in every language required by the law of the country
it's sold in. In Israel that includes Hebrew, Arabic, English, Russian, and
a few more I can't think of off-hand. In South Africa it used to be English,
Afrikaans, and several of the local African languages. I think South Africa
now has 11 official languages, so I expect medications to ship with
documentation in all 11 of them. Products sold in Canada probably require by
law documentation in at least French and English (I'm sure someone on the
group will correct me if I'm wrong).

2. A single-language document with a warnings section that contains a set of
warnings in 20 or more languages. For example, the manual would be entirely
in English or French, but the preface or first chapter would contain a
section that lists the same laser (or other) warnings in every language the
field engineer installing the product may speak. Typically, I've seen this
approach in telecommunications equipment (not end-user equipment, but
equipment sold to service providers to integrate into their networks).

If anyone has anything to add to this, or other examples, please discuss on
the list. I doubt we'll get to this item this week (since it's on the bottom
of this week's agenda), but hopefully we'll discuss this next week.

Best Regards,

Gershon L Joseph
Member, OASIS DITA and DocBook Technical Committees
Director of Technology and Single Sourcing
Tech-Tav Documentation Ltd.
office: +972-8-974-1569
mobile: +972-57-314-1170

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