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Technical documentation and visual clues


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We provide accurate and relevant Technical Documentation for the safe operation and maintenance of all types of equipment.

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Technical documentation and visual clues

  2. 2. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF VISUAL CUES? • A visual representation or drawing can help us translate tacit knowledge to explicit, to convey ideas and to think differently about a scenario. • Conveying rules, processes and approaches is a complex task in itself in a technical environment but add to that the requirement to change a language without losing key meaning increases the complexity of the task significantly. • Physical and visual cues are crucial at the earlier stages to determine what something says and as learning progresses and understanding develops associations can be made and information connected with a known meaning. Visual cues in instruction at any stage can also increase learner connectivity, engagement and retention.
  3. 3. VISUAL CUES AND TECHNICAL TRANSLATION • Technical translators ensure that the original information as encoded by the source is transmitted through a medium (such as a report, manual or information sheet) and decoded by a receiver without a loss or change in meaning. • A suitable image or graphical representation of a particular product alongside passages of text is a welcome sight for the reader as they can interpret it visually even if they have not understood all the text. Complex images can be broken down step-by-step to make them easier to understand and follow. • Images or drawings in technical documentation use visual thinking approaches that circumvent the need for a specific language. If you draw a picture of an aeroplane and show it to someone who doesn’t speak the same language you have communicated a concept without a loss of meaning. • Avoiding the occurrence of having something “lost in translation” so that there is no misinterpretation or communication breakdown of the original version is an invaluable skill in technical translation activities.
  4. 4. CURRENT AVAILABILITY IN SOFTWARE • Currently word processing software programmes are available with built in drawing tools so adding a diagram or graphic is readily facilitated and can allow the readers to think with their eyes. • Making use of visual cues can be the most direct way of presenting information. Computer graphics, interactive applications, editorial design and web design can all be used to create visual solutions and when used in parallel with text descriptions can be customized for particular products and matched to the required target audience.
  5. 5. SUMMARY • Technical translators can make use of visual communication to facilitate the understanding of information from diverse sources in other languages. As the saying goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.