Technical Translation: Usability Strategies for Translating Technical Documentation

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jun 23, 2006 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 280 pages
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Based largely on my doctoral dissertation “Textual Cognetics and the Role of Iconic Linkage in Software User Guides”, this book is intended to serve as an introduction to technical translation and usability for translators and translation researchers. In this book we will look at how it is possible to improve the quality of technical translations by drawing on cognitive p- chology, usability engineering and technical communication to develop skills which can be implemented during the text production stage of the translation process to ensure more usable texts. This book draws on a broad range of research and makes it accessible and applicable to an audience with a background primarily in translation although those with backgrounds in technical writing will also find the discussions of usability, cognitive p- chology and usability testing useful. Technical translation has traditionally been regarded as the poor cousin of “real” translation. Often regarded as a vocational, practical and at times rather basic type of translation, it has been largely neglected in the literature on translation theory. The work that has been done in this area has largely been restricted to terminological issues or technical issues (e. g. tools such as translation memories and machine translation, etc. ) or does not fully reflect the reality of modern translation and needs to be updated (e. g. Pinchuk 1977, Sykes 1971). However, technical translation is a much more prom- ing avenue of theoretical investigation than many suspect.
 

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A very useful and thorough book. Essential reading for technical translators!

Contents

Technical Translation
1
The Importance of Technical Translation
2
The Reality of Technical Translation
7
The Aim of Technical Translation
10
The Translators Role
15
Theory in Technical Translation
21
Conclusions
44
Technical Communication
47
Conclusions
149
Usability Engineering
151
Cognetics
153
Understanding How We Read User Guides
157
Implementing Usability Measures
160
Iconic Linkage
164
Iconic Linkage as a Cognitive Strategy
171
Conclusions
175

The Nature of Technical Documentation
48
Typical Technical Documents
50
Software Documentation
52
Software User Guides
57
Software User Guides Quality
64
Assessing User Guide Quality
92
Conclusions
94
Understanding Users
97
The Human Cognitive System
100
Perception
109
Memory
114
Cognitive Processing
121
Attention Selection
124
Learning
130
Reasoning ProblemSolving
138
The Transition from ProblemSolving to Skill
145
Assessing Usability
177
Historical Problems in Document Usability Research
178
Approaches to Empirical Evaluation
179
Survey Methods
186
Participants in a Usability Evaluation
194
Usability Evaluation Procedures
196
Experiment to Test the Impact of Iconic Linkage
207
Main Study
236
Results of Usability Evaluation
239
Conclusions
249
Conclusions
253
Cognetics and Iconic Linkage
254
Future Directions
255
Bibliography
259
Appendices
271
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