LTAC 2011 Chiarello: Simplified Technical English

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Chiarello presentation at LTAC (by permission) to link to guest blog article

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LTAC 2011 Chiarello: Simplified Technical English

  1. 1. AeroSpace and DefenceIndustries Association of Europe ASD Simplified Technical English An adaptable and flexible resource for writing accuracy Orlando Chiarello, Chairman, ASD STE Maintenance Group Rome, 6 April 2011 1
  2. 2. A worldwide standard Technical writers started to use ASD Simplified Technical English, ASD-STE100 (STE), in the 1980s. It was initially applicable to commercial aviation. Then, it became also a requirement for military projects. Primary texts for Maintenance Manuals, Data Modules and Service Bulletins for the commercial and military aircraft are written in STE. Vendors of components for these aircraft write their Component Maintenance Manuals and Data Modules in STE.ASD-STEMG 2011 2 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  3. 3. Why Simplified Technical English? What is it?  STE is not a new idea… Professor K.C. Ogden wrote the “Basic English” in 1930.   Caterpillar first used their Fundamental English (CFE) in the 1970s.  Other industries used Controlled Languages.  But STE was the first controlled language used in aerospace maintenance. It is the best known one and a model writing standard for other industries.ASD-STEMG 2011 3 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  4. 4. Historical Background 1979 - The Association of European Airlines (AEA) thought that a simplified language applicable to the aircraft maintenance documentation was necessary. The “European Association of Aerospace Industries” (AECMA) agreed to find a solution and started the project with the Simplified English Working Group (SEWG). 1983 – 1986 - After the analysis of many maintenance texts, the SEWG set the writing rules, a controlled dictionary and examples. Also, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) of America sent their representative in the SEMG. 1986 - First release of the SE Guide (AECMA Document PSC-85-16598). 1987 – 1989 - ATA and S1000D made AECMA SE a mandatory requirement. 1995 – After a long clean-up work, the SEWG released the SE Guide with many new features and the examples included in the Dictionary (Issue 1, 15 Sep 1995). The SEWG became the SE Maintenance Group (SEMG).ASD-STEMG 2011 4 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  5. 5. Historical Background 1997 – Some airlines representatives became SEMG Associate Members. 1998 - 2001 - Updates and amendments of the SE Guide (Revision 1 and Revision 2). 2003 – S1000D 2.0 opened to Land and Sea (SE not only for Aerospace). 2004 – Full revision of the SE Guide (Issue 2, 15 Jan 2004). 2005 – AECMA became ASD. The SE Guide became the Specification ASD-STE100 with the word “Technical” added to its name (Issue 3, 15 Jan 2005). SEMG became STEMG. 2006 – Some military representatives became STEMG Associate Members. 2007 – Full revision of the Specification. EC Trademark (Issue 4, 15 Jan 2007) included. 2008 – The European Handbook for Defence Procurement (CEN WS10 framework) recommended S1000D and STE as its best practice standards for documentation. 2009 – ASD-STE100 presentation at EASA and FAA Headquarters. APRIL 2010 – RELEASE OF ISSUE 5ASD-STEMG 2011 5 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  6. 6. Why a controlled language for aerospace industry?ASD-STEMG 2011 6 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  7. 7. The increasing complexity of aircraftASD-STEMG 2011 7 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  8. 8. The increasing size and complexity of technical documentation and dataASD-STEMG 2011 8 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  9. 9. The increasing number of non-native English speaking customers 20% 80% Non-English Speaking English SpeakingASD-STEMG 2011 9 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  10. 10. The maintenance data that must be:ASD-STEMG 2011 10 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  11. 11. But accurate technical text and correct presentation are not always sufficient: The selection of the words is not easy. Some customers do errors with texts that we think that are written in good English. " Round the edges of the round cap. If it then turns round and round, as it circles round the casing, another round of tests is required."ASD-STEMG 2011 11 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  12. 12. A standard was necessary.A standard that included: a small number of words words with defined meanings words with defined parts of speech a simplified structure for the maximum benefit to the reader!ASD-STEMG 2011 12 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  13. 13. Minimum Words Simplified Structure } The basic condition for a Controlled Language A Simplified form of English Simplified Technical English (ASD-STE100)ASD-STEMG 2011 13 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  14. 14. SIMPLIFIED TECHNICAL ENGLISH Specification ASD-STE100 European Community Trade Mark No. 004901195 International specification for the preparation of maintenance documentation in a controlled languageASD-STEMG 2011 14 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  15. 15. ASD-STE100 Simplified Technical English has received European Community trademark. “In practice this means that the good results we have achieved are now being acknowledged by an audience outside the aerospace industry. The Simplified Technical English specification ASD-STE100, represents groundbreaking work in standardization, which is in line with the European Commission work program fostering an Innovation-Friendly Europe. And we hope this will help other industries in their standardization work,” François Gayet, Secretary General ASD Europe, October 2006, ASD Press Release.ASD-STEMG 2011 15 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  16. 16. So how does STE make text simpler and easier to read? STE has two parts: Part 1: a set of writing rules Part 2: a controlled vocabularyASD-STEMG 2011 16 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  17. 17. STE primary rules  Choose the words from: Approved words in the Dictionary (controlled)  Technical Names (20 categories, not controlled, not listed in the Dictionary).  Technical Verbs (3 categories, not controlled, not listed in the Dictionary).  Use the approved words only as the part of speech given in the Dictionary.  Make the instructions as clear as possible.ASD-STEMG 2011 17 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  18. 18. STE primary rules  Do not write more than three nouns together.  Put the article before the nouns.  Use only the form of verbs that are listed in the Dictionary.  Do not use the “-ing” form of a verb unless it is a part of a Technical Name.  Use the active voice. Use only the active voice in procedures and as much as possible in descriptive text.  Keep to one topic per sentence.  Use the vertical layout for complex text.ASD-STEMG 2011 18 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  19. 19. STE primary rules  Write short sentences (20 words maximum in procedures, 25 words maximum in descriptive text).  Write only one instruction per sentence.  In an instruction, use the imperative “command” form.  Write only one topic in each paragraph.  Do not write more than 6 sentences in each paragraph.ASD-STEMG 2011 19 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  20. 20. STE primary rules  Start a warning or a caution with a simple and clear command.  Identify your command correctly as a warning or a caution.  Write notes so that you give information, not commands.  Use a Different Construction to rewrite sentences when a word-for-word replacement is not sufficient.ASD-STEMG 2011 20 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  21. 21. An important resource for Flight SafetyControlled grammatical structures and vocabulary make text moreeasily understandable.An easy and correct text can decrease the maintenance errors andthe Human Factors risks.“The Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe, a champion of simplifiedEnglish, has devised a system that uses no more than 900 words. The associationsinvolvement demonstrates what often drives simplified English: the need for safety.”(The Financial Times, 26th August, 2008)ASD-STEMG 2011 21 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  22. 22. Remember, in STE: one word = one meaning!In STE, YOU….. Do not Do not perform the carry out task the task Do not undertake DO the the task task !ASD-STEMG 2011 22 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  23. 23. Some examples Non STE text:  Round the edges of the round cap. If it then turns round and round, as it circles round the casing, another round of tests is required. STE text:  Make the edges of the circular cap rounded. If the cap then makes a continuous circular movement when you install it on the casing, more tests are necessary.  Make sure that the cap is fully circular and if it is not, remove all rough edges. But if the cap turns continuously around its axis while it goes around the casing, do the test procedure again.ASD-STEMG 2011 23 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  24. 24. Some examples Descriptive Writing – The moka pot The moka pot, also known as the "caffettiera" or the “macchinetta”, is a coffee maker device. It has the function to make coffee with pressurized water. The caffettiera has three primary parts: - The bottom chamber (A) - The filter (B) - The collecting chamber (C). To make coffee, it is necessary to put water in the bottom chamber (A) and the ground coffee in the filter (B). The collecting chamber (B) is tightened on the threads of the bottom chamber (A) and a gasket prevents leakage between the assembled parts. When the caffettiera is on the fire, the water temperature increases. The vapor in the boiler expands and pressurizes the water surface. The pressure pushes the mass of the water down and then the water will be pushed up through the filter funnel (A to B). When it goes up, the water goes also through the ground coffee in the filter (B) and thus brews the coffee. The brewed coffee through the pipe will gradually fill the collecting chamber (C). At the end of the process, only air and vapor move from the bottom chamber (A) to the collective chamber (C). The water level in the bottom chamber (A) will be the same as the level at the filter and the funnel. The remaining water in the boiler will prevent overheating. A safety relief valve, installed in the bottom chamber (A), prevents an overpressure condition and operates if there is a blockage.ASD-STEMG 2011 24 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  25. 25. Who uses STE? In the aerospace world:  Aircraft operators (airlines and military depots)  Aircraft maintenance training centers  Aircraft designers and manufacturers  Aircraft component manufacturers  Aircraft engine designers and manufacturers.ASD-STEMG 2011 25 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  26. 26. Is STE only for aerospace? 3% of the keywords included in the STE Dictionary are applicable to aerospace documentation. 97% of the keywords are applicable to all types of documentation. We can use the Writing Rules in all types of documentation.ASD-STEMG 2011 26 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  27. 27. Is STE only for aerospace?How much is it adaptable and flexible? ASD-STE100 study for universal use (April 2008) – Final results STE Writing Rules + Dictionary 10% 10% of STE is related to aerospace 90% of STE is universal 90% The study shows that we can use STE in other fields. We can use the STE Dictionary as a “core” and add the Technical Names and Technical Verbs that are applicable to our companies, our projects and our industries. You can see an example of general use in this presentation where: More than 90% of the text is written in STE!ASD-STEMG 2011 27 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  28. 28. Is STE only for aerospace?How much is it adaptable and flexibleTechnical Names – The 20 Categories 1- Names in the official parts information 2- Names of locations on machines, vehicles and equipment 3- Names of tools or equipment 4- Names of materials, consumables and unwanted matter 5- Names of facilities and infrastructure 6- Names of circuits or systems, their parts and locations in them 7- Mathematical, scientific and engineering terms 8- Navigation terms 9- Numbers, units of measurement and dial markings 10 - Quoted text (placards, labels, signs, markings and display units)ASD-STEMG 2011 28 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  29. 29. Is STE only for aerospace?How much is it adaptable and flexible?Technical Names – The 20 Categories 11 - Names of persons, groups or bodies 12 - Parts of the body 13 - Common personal effects 14 - Medical terms 15 - Documents, manuals or parts of manuals 16 - Names, headings and topics used in specifications (including in-house specifications) 17 - Names of technical records, standards, specifications, regulations 18 - Environmental conditions 19 - Colors 20 - Damage termsASD-STEMG 2011 29 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  30. 30. Is STE only for aerospace?How much is it adaptable and flexible?Technical Verbs – The 3 Categories 1 - Manufacturing Processes 2 - Computer Processes and Applications 3 - DescriptionsASD-STEMG 2011 30 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  31. 31. Who uses STE?Non-aerospace world (as it is or with small adaptations):  High-Tech companies  Oil companies  Medical companies  Truck designers and manufacturers  Tyre manufacturers  Digital camera manufacturers  Diesel engine designers and manufacturers  Passenger train designers and manufacturers ….. …….and many others!ASD-STEMG 2011 31 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  32. 32. Summary of STE principles  The STE vocabulary is restricted – approximately 860 approved words.  STE shows you how to use the approved words.  Each word has a defined meaning.  Each word has a defined part of speech.  STE gives the rules that help you write clearly.  STE helps to remove language problems where English is not the native language.  STE makes it easier to translate English texts into other languages.“With SE we may, at last, be on the threshold of making English logicaland tidy.” (The Times, 13th April, 1987)ASD-STEMG 2011 32 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium
  33. 33. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! QUESTIONS?More information?Please visit: www.asd-ste100.orgPlease contact: info@asd-ste100.orgOrlando ChiarelloChairman of the STE Maintenance Group (STEMG)Product Support ManagerSECONDO MONA S.p.A.Via Carlo del Prete, 1 – 21019 Somma Lombardo - Italyorlando.chiarello@secondomona.comASD-STEMG 2011 33 ASD-STE100 is a Copyright and a Trade Mark of ASD, Brussels, Belgium

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