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A method for translating technical to nontechnical prose

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3 Author(s)
Parker H. Johnson ; Department of English, 207 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 ; Judith Garrard ; William Hausman

To translate technical language for professionals into ordinary language for lay readers, we developed a five-step method: (1) Standardize the technical language; (2) produce a nontechnical version; (3) test the nontechnical version with lay readers to determine where the translation was unsuccessful; (4) determine the reading-grade level of the translation; and (5) statistically correlate the accuracy of the translation with the original. This method was used with a set of 200 educational objectives in the mental-health field and steps 3–5 verified that the translation was accurate and comprehensible. The process is explained and is directly applicable to technical prose in other fields.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:PC-25 ,  Issue: 4 )