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The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market Paperback – April 9, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"John R. Kohl's masterpiece, The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, translatable Documentation for a Global Market, is an indispensable and thoroughly usable set of recommendations and examples. By implementing the appropriate suggestions, every technical writer can now create translatable text that can be better understood by humans and better processed by machines. Terrific work." --Leif Sonstenes, Director Sales and Marketing, Locatech GmbH

"This guide is essential for anyone who creates technical content for global audiences. John Kohl has developed a resource that should be required reading for any manager, technical communicator, or editor involved with content that will be translated for or read by international audiences. As a technical communicator working overseas, I have spent dozens of hours creating guidance for writers who develop global content. With the publication of this book, I now have a thorough, go-to reference that covers all the issues of developing global content that the other style guides do not. This text will be put to use immediately to help my writers create and improve content for translation and publication throughout the world." --Eddie Hollon, Technical Communicator,Hansem EZUserGuides, Inc

"I was very excited when I was approached to review The Global English Style Guide: Writing Clear, Translatable Documentation for a Global Market. I was even more excited when it arrived and lived up to my hopes. The guide is both comprehensive and succinct, and best of all, is full of practical examples showing text before and after it has been disambiguated. That means there finally is the definitive resource that has been lacking in the field of writing and editing for an international audience." --Wendalyn Nichols, Editor of Copyediting newsletter and editorial trainer

About the Author

John R. Kohl has worked at SAS Institute as a technical writer, technical editor, and linguistic engineer since 1992. For the past several years, John has devoted much of his time to terminology issues and to refining the Global English guidelines. As a linguistic engineer, John customizes and supports tools and processes that help make SAS documentation more consistent, easier to translate, and easier for non-native speakers of English to understand. John has been interested in machine translation and other language technologies for many years, and he is a charter member of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: SAS Publishing; 1 edition (April 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599946572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599946573
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My copy of "The Global English Style Guide" arrived last week. As soon as I began looking through it, I realized this is a book that Technical Communicators have long needed.

There has been a multitude of excellent articles and references dealing with writing English for localization. But I have never found a concise compilation of guidelines and explanations on writing Global English in a handy book format, until now. Kohl's book is well researched, easy to understand, has multiple entry points, and was written by somebody who knows the topic thoroughly.

If you write any kind of material in the English language that will be localized into another language, I recommend that you purchase Khol's book, read it, follow its advice, and keep the book handy on your shelf.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John R. Kohl's Global English Style Guide is a very useful resource for understanding the importance and practice of writing English for a global audience. In fact, it provides an exciting and passionate case for the value of language in technical documentation. The first chapter outlines the impact of Global English on costs, quality, and usability. It also examines the growing impact of machine translation. The rest of the book consists of a rich set of guidelines to follow. The most valuable part of the book, though, is the focus on before and after examples of sentences followed by discussions of why one solution is better than another. My only frustration with the book is that it does not serve well as a quick reference, which is what I would normally expect from a style guide. However, if I have to chose, I would much prefer to engage in the logic of the author's recommendations rather than just a prescriptive list of do's and don'ts.
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Format: Paperback
Many people who do not speak English as a first language struggle to understand English texts. Human translation is expensive. Machine translation frequently does not work. Global English offers a solution to these three related problems.

Many good style guides exist. Why do technical writers need another style guide? Unlike other style guides, this book covers grammatical structures, not only particular terms. The author writes clearly, and he explains the reasons for the guidelines. The book is not an academic paper. The guidelines are based on practical work at SAS Institute, where the author works.

Most technical writers know some of the guidelines already. For example, restrict the use of the passive voice, use language literally, and simplify the writing style. However, many guidelines may be new to some technical writers.

Both of the following sentences are grammatically correct:
* Set up the system.
* Set the system up.

Now, as far as possible, I always use the first structure, and keep the parts of a phrasal verb together. Keeping the parts of the verb together increases consistency, improves machine translation, and helps non-native speakers who do not know the particular verb.

The subtitle of the book refers to writing documentation. However, most of the guidelines apply to copywriting as much as to technical writing. All writers who want to reach a global audience, to decrease translation costs, or to make their texts as clear as possible will benefit highly from this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are writing documentation or content that needs to be translated for the global market, this book is for you. John R. Kohl does an excellent job explaining how technical communicators need to write for the global market. This book is designed so the reader can read it from cover-to-cover. Yes! It is that well written. Or, the reader can glance through it daily and constantly find interesting tidbits.

His colleagues consider him to be the guru on globalization, and they are correct. I bought this book on the recommendation of two people who worked with him at SAS. After reading John R. Kohl's book, your confidence on writing for the global market increases 100%.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is great for those in any technology field. When it comes to writing content, it is easy to forget that people in other countries around the world may actually read it so it is important to design your content around global English practices in order to be conscientious about other's needs.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Every technical writer and editor should own this book and refer to it often for guidance.

The information is timeless,

Remember, this writing style applies to everything you write because you are writing for a global audience, even in the United States.

This book is a masterpiece I've been using since it was released. I know the author and I told him I wish I'd written it.

You don't have to read everything, the contents and index take you wherever you need to go.

Or, go to Appendix B to see the global English guidelines list.The list includes cross-references to the appropriate sections.

This book supersedes the Chicago Manual of Style, that is how I use it and I am a long-time technical editor.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent source for localization program managers. This is a well-researched and practical reference guide for content departments seeking to implement or improve localization workflow for content. I like the sections that are prioritized for machine translation and human translation. Would love to see a website where comments, reviews, and dynamic updates about this book are available.
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