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Re: keep tabs What does it mean?


On 28 May 2013 23:12, Craig Hrabal <crhrabal@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On 05/28/2013 04:28 PM, Kevin Godby wrote:
>> Hello, Hannie.
>> On Tue, May 28, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Hannie Dumoleyn
>> <lafeber-dumoleyn2@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> There is no need to adjust English language expressions so that
>>> non-native
>>> speakers understand. It is my duty as a translator to find out what a
>>> less
>>> common expression means. I already felt stupid that I sent this question
>>> to
>>> the mailing list.
>> Actually, we should try to avoid idioms in the English manual because
>> the manual hasn't been translated to all languages yet.  If the manual
>> hasn't been translated to a person's native language yet but they
>> speak a little English, they should still be able to read our manual.
>> Avoiding idioms not only helps the translators but the large number of
>> non-native English speakers.
>> —Kevin
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> I would have to agree. Expressions like that aren't too far off from
> slang, and therefore only serve to confuse people. Phrases and expressions
> like this should be avoided, as there is no clear way to translate the
> expression into another language. The fact that you had to ask what a
> simple phrase meant sort of proves why it shouldn't be written in that way.
> When someone is trying to get help using Ubuntu, language barriers
> shouldn't be a source of difficulty for readers.
I entirely agree with Kevin and Craig's remarks.  It is exactly what I had
in mind in my reply to Hannie (which should have gone to the list -
apologies for that).  There is even several distinct forms of English to
consider.  It is possible for me, as a UK English speaker, to use idioms
that sound odd to US English speakers, even if they do understand them.  So
our aim should be always to use plain, straightforward English that can be
understood by native and non-native English speakers.  I have made a few
edits along these lines, but I have to confess to missing the expression
that Hannie queried.


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