Simplified Technical English:

Report
Patricia María Ferreira Larrieux
Technical & Literary Translator
Warsaw, 29/03/14
About me
 Purpose of this presentation
 The STE Project – Historical background
 Who uses STE?
 ASD-STE Specification – writing rules & dictionary
 Practical examples
 My thoughts on STE and technical writing
 Where to find training & more information?

2







Born in Uruguay, living in Italy since 1990
Degree in English<>Spanish Translation (1989)
Ran my own translation company (1997-2003)
10 years at Johnson & Johnson (2003-2013)
May 2013: returned to freelancing
Currently freelance technical & literary
translator
Member of: CTPU, IATPI, ITI (UK), COM&TEC
3

Raise awareness of the use of STE, a
controlled language, and the advantages it
may have for:
› Readers
› Technical Translators
4





Late 70s: AEA asked AECMA to investigate
readability of aircraft maintenance documentation
1983: AECMA Simplified English Project started
1986: First release of the AECMA Simplified English
Guide (predecessor of the STE Specification)
2004: ASD is founded
(AECMA+EDIG+EUROSPACE)
2005: New issue of specification released as ASDSTE100
5

2013:
› January: Issue number 6 of STE Specification
released – First issue ever to be distributed free
of charge
› November: Memorandum of Understanding
signed with UNINETTUNO
6
STE is not just for the aviation industry
 99% of the keywords are applicable to all types
of documentation
 A strong interest is growing within the Academic
World, Faculties of Language and Engineering
 STE is used by companies providing language
services, technical documentation, localization
and translations

7








Information Technology,
Software
Telecommunications
Oil and gas
Automotive, Trucks,
Transportation, Railways
Agricultural equipment
Buildings
Medical and Healthcare
Fire protection









Nuclear
Urban planning
Gaming
Machinery, Mining,
Manufacturing, Automation
Semiconductors
Consulting, Legal
Shipping
Food Industry
Non-profit associations
8
Controlled language: a subset of a language,
obtained by restricting:
 grammar
 vocabulary
to reduce or eliminate ambiguity and complexity
 ASD-STE100 is an international specification
for preparation of maintenance documentation
using a controlled language

9




STE consists of:
 a set of writing rules
 a dictionary of controlled vocabulary
STE is meant for both native and non-native
readers of English
STE is intended to be used for written
communication only
STE is maintained by the ASD-STEMG
10








New general layout and formatting
Review of sections 1 and 3 of writing rules
Review of the categories of technical names
Inclusion of Information Technology and telephony
terms
New category of technical verbs (Operational language)
Improvement of the dictionary
Further reduction of aerospace examples
Clarification of the assigned meanings of some
important keywords
11

Distribution free of charge by requesting it at:
http://www.asd-ste100.org/request.html

1700 copies have been distributed as of 19/03/14

About 40% distributed to users outside the AeroSpace
and Defence fields
12





The basic philosophy of STE is to keep texts as
simple and readable as possible.
Use only approved words from the STE
Dictionary
Use approved words only as part of speech
given
Use consistent language and spelling
No noun clusters of more than three nouns
Use only approved verb tenses
13
The basic philosophy of STE is to keep texts as
simple and readable as possible.





Use the active voice
Keep to one topic per sentence
Procedures: write one instruction per
sentence and use imperative verb
Warnings: always start a warning/caution
with a simple and clear command
Keep sentences short (20/25 words max)
14
Keyword
(part of
speech)
Approved
meaning /
ALTERNATIVES
APPROVED
EXAMPLE
START (v)
STARTS
STARTED
1. To begin a
procedure, movement
or operation
2. To come into being,
activity or operation
1. START THE ENGINE
2. MEASURE THE
BEND RADIUS FROM
THE POINT WHERE
THE BEND STARTS
begin (v)
START
INCREASE THE
PRESSURE UNTIL
THE FLOW STARTS
AGAIN
Increase the
pressure until
the flow begins
again
commence
(v)
START
THE WARNING
STARTS AND THE
INDICATORS FLASH
Warning
commences and
indicators flash
Not approved
15
Keyword
(part of
speech)
Approved
meaning /
ALTERNATIVES
TEST (n)
The procedure where
an object or system is
operated to make sure
that its performance
and/or function is
correct
DISCONNECT ALL
SYSTEMS WHICH
ARE NOT
NECESSARY FOR
THE TEST
test (v)
TEST (n)
DO A FUNCTIONAL
TEST OF THE
WARNING SYSTEM
APPROVED
EXAMPLE
Not approved
Functionally test
warning system
16
Non-STE: Test the system for leaks.
 STE:
Do a test for leaks in the system
or
Do the leak test for the system.
Reason: “test” is approved for use only as a noun and not as
a verb.

Non-STE: Make a sandwich with two washers (25) and the
spacer (26).
 STE: Install the spacer (26) between the two washers (25).
Reason: do not use slang or jargon words.

17


Non-STE: Ensure that the 600 Hz tone is audible when the XY
switch is depressed.
STE: (a) Push the XY switch.
(b) Make sure that you hear the 600 Hz tone at the
same time.
Reason: ensure, audible and depressed are not STE approved
words. Always use a verb to describe an action (not a noun or other
part of speech). Use the active voice.
18
Using STE to write technical documents
enhances readability by eliminating
ambiguity and promoting consistency
 STE minimizes the chances that an operator
may misunderstand a technical procedure,
warning or caution (increased safety)
 STE texts are more CAT-tool-friendly than
non-STE texts

19
Income diversification: Technical Translators
can offer STE-related services to clients (e.g.
revision, translation, re-translation)
 Technical Translators can interact with
Technical Writers to support the use of STE
 Technical Translators can join their local
Technical Communication Association

20
In November 2013 ASD and the International
Virtual University UNINETTUNO signed a
Memorandum of Understanding, a key
milestone in the history of STE
As a result, UNINETTUNO is now the only
body accredited by ASD to provide STE
trainings and certifications.
21
Training activities are being organized by
UNINETTUNO on a distance-learning basis
and delivered worldwide.
For more information, you can visit the
UNINETTUNO website:
http://www.uninettunouniversity.net/en/ASDSTE100.aspx
22
ASD website: www.asd-ste100.org
 ASD e-mail: [email protected]
 STEMG Facebook page
 STEMG Twitter account @asd_stemg
 Contact STEMG on Linkedin
 Contact the STEMG Chairman:
[email protected]

23
24

similar documents