You are on page 1of 130

Advanced Technology for

Clear Documentation

SimplifiedTechnicalEnglish
3rd edition
Simplified Technical English
Advanced Technology for Clear Documentation
Advanced Technology
for Clear Documentation
Simplified Technical English
3rd edition

PART I
Introduction

Published by Tedopres International B.V., the Netherlands, 2010


6
CIP DATA ROYAL LIBRARY, THE HAGUE

André N. Verduijn
2010, © Tedopres International B.V., Best, the Netherlands

Published by Tedopres International B.V., Best, 2010

Simplified Technical English 3rd edition


Advanced Technology for Clear Documentation

ISBN/EAN : 978-90-807094-5-4
Initiator : André N. Verduijn
Authors : Berry Braster
André N. Verduijn
Editor : Berry Braster
Proof-reader :Petra van Dongen
Alexandra Arts
Graphic Designer : Piet le Feber
Illustrator : Theo van Kampen
Printing / Binding : Stige, Torino, Italia

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in an electronic


database, or made public in any way or form, whether electronically,
mechanically, by photocopying or any other means, without the prior
written permission of the publisher.

This is a publication of Tedopres International B.V., Best,


the Netherlands. Tedopres International B.V. produces technical
documentation. The purpose of this publication is to inform interested
parties about developments in the field of simplified language use:
writing and reading. The publisher would welcome it if this publication
were also to serve an educational purpose.
In acquiring the illustrations, Tedopres International B.V. has done its
very best to identify all copyright holders. Those who still believe they
have certain rights are requested to contact the publisher.

7
Table of Contents

PART I Introduction 5
CIP DATA ROYAL LIBRARY, THE HAGUE 7
Misunderstandings and disasters 10
Introduction 12
Initiative 13
PART II The history of written languages 15
In the beginning 17
Putting it down in writing 18
Earlier languages: Sumeria 19
Earlier languages: Egypt 21
From hieroglyphs onward 22
Earlier languages: Cuneiform 25
Writing routine changes cuneiform 26
Earlier languages: Native American 30
Earlier languages: The Inca Empire 32
What history tells us 34
The development of Standard English 35
How the printer’s craft contributed to the development of Standard
English 38
The Industrial Revolution 39
Globalisation 39
PART III Simplifying Technical English 41
Simplifying a language is not an easy task 43
Previous attempts to control English 45
Caterpillar develops into a global company with its own controlled
language 47
ILSAM 51
Unambiguous language use in aerospace: 52
the development of ASD Simplified Technical English 52
Simplified Technical English and structured authoring 57
Other industries are joining in 59
Simplified Technical English explained 59
PART IV Simplified Technical English in practice 61
How to implement Simplified Technical English 63
Dictionaries 65
The basic Simplified Technical English dictionary 65
HyperSTE Features 69

8
Simplified Technical English in practice: industry examples 72
Example Medical Industry 76
Example avionics industry 78
Benefits of Simplified Technical English & HyperSTE 82
Cost savings 82
Simplified Technical English, an ideal source for translation 82
Automated translation 83
Experiences from the industry 90
Simplified Technical English in Russia By Valery Strekoz 92
Make it simple By Karen Toast Conger 94
The world a safer place … 97
PART V Simplifying the entire information process 99
Optimising information processes 101
Structure as a basis 102
Information creation and reuse 102
Structure from the start 102
Illustrations 103
Simplified Technical Illustrations 104
HyperSTI – Simplified Technical Illustration software 104
Efficiency 104
Combining Simplified Technical Illustrations and Simplified Technical
English 108
Benefits Simplified Technical Illustrations 109
Content Management 110
Reuse for various manuals 110
Reuse for various end users 110
XML 111
Content Management System (CMS) 111
HyperDoc 112
PART VI Acknowledgements and references 115
Register 117
A shorter introduction to English literature 121
References 123
Company profile 124
Mission Statement & Vision 125
Partners & Memberships 126
Memberships 127
Offices: 128

9
Misunderstandings and disasters
We live in the age of globalisation. Virtually all fields of industry cater
for a global market, while manufacturing is also internationalised.
On our small planet roughly 6000 languages are spoken, not counting
dialects. In addition, since the invention of the wheel, technicians have
developed an extensive technical vocabulary of their own. And in all the
specific sciences people speak and write their own jargon.
Therefore, it will surprise no one that this situation has led to
lack of comprehension and has caused misunderstandings,
misinterpretations and calamities, sometimes with fatal results.

As companies worldwide increasingly need to deal with people


speaking different languages, while products and processes become
more and more complex, there is an evident need for clear and
effective communication and documentation.

A controlled language is needed


As a result, in the twentieth century linguists and manufacturers
from various industries exerted themselves to construct a single,
internationally applicable, “controlled language”. The development
process of this language started in the 1930’s and still continues to the
present day.

Today there are a few controlled languages available. For instance,


ASD Simplified Technical English (formerly AECMA Simplified
English), initiated by the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association
of Europe (ASD), Caterpillar’s Technical English (CTE) and the
International Language for Service and Maintenance (ILSAM). For the
purpose of this book, we will be using “Simplified Technical English”
as a generic term, except when specifically referring to
“ASD Simplified Technical English”.

Simplified Technical English is based on the English language as this


is the most commonly used language in global communication.
Furthermore, Simplified Technical English, as the name implies,
focuses on technical text, and facilitates global communication, as it
results in clear and concise text, that is understandable also for people
who have a limited knowledge of the English language.

10
As there is the increasing demand from customers who require
technical documentation to be translated into their native language,
using Simplified Technical English as a source can help save
considerable translation costs. Where necessary, it even provides an
excellent basis for computer-aided or automated translation.

This book gives a short overview of the history of written language


in general and of the development and implementation of controlled
language in particular. We hope that you will find it interesting to learn
how complex information can be conveyed with a clear and easy-to-
understand language.

11
Introduction
The necessity for a clear unambiguous language for technical
documents is obvious and Simplified Technical English has been
created to fill this need. With its controlled lexicon and grammar rules
aiming to keep writing straightforward and uncomplicated, this style of
expression is already used in many areas of industry and business.

We now have computer software at our disposal which can analyse the
language of our written documents and tells us at the flick of a button
the different words used and their frequency, or give us all collocations
in a body of text of any word we select. With such powerful tools we
can today more easily apply the ideas of Simplified Technical English to
our sphere of communication.

At a time when, in the European Union at least, we are moving towards


a multiplicity of languages with all the complexity of translation and
interpretation this entails, it is timely that the virtues of having just one
language tailored for ease of communication be explained.

Fiona A. Robertson
President of the International Aviation English Association Paris

12
Initiative
The wish to write a book about controlled language is not without
reason. During discussions with numerous experts, I noticed that it is
not so easy to explain the significance of a new, universal language for
documentation.

From more to less


Through education, many have familiarised themselves with the
richness of various languages. People have discovered the beauty
of their native language and of foreign languages. So, at first it may
seem difficult to relinquish such a wealth of knowledge. Languages
actually can be reduced to a remarkable simplicity, without losing the
power of communicating comprehensibly. Although it is not a human
characteristic to want to go from more to less, writers and readers who
already work with a controlled language fully realise its power.

A saying
There is an old saying that illustrates the power of simplicity:
‘simplicity shows the master’. A skilled illustrator is able to sketch
the essentials of a situation with only a few lines, whereas a poet can
evoke a large scale of emotions with only a few words. The same goes
for the use of Simplified Technical English. With fewer possibilities to
choose from, communication becomes clearer. So in fact there is more.

Working for you with pleasure


We, the initiator and a number of Tedopres International B.V.
employees, have enjoyed working together to tell you more about
Simplified Technical English. By reading this book you will get familiar
with the possibilities of a controlled language. And with the advantages
it has to offer you and your company.

André Verduijn
President of Tedopres International B.V.

13
Meet Mr. Language and Ms. Information*

To illustrate this book, we have chosen two recognisable figures


who were also present in previous editions of this book. These little
characters will illustrate the text and support the contents.

Keep a close watch on Mr. Language and Ms. Information, they will
guide you.

* Mr. Language and Ms. Information are property of Tedopres International B.V.

14
Advanced Technology
for Clear Documentation
Simplified Technical English
3rd edition

PART II
The history of written languages

Published by Tedopres International B.V., the Netherlands, 2010

15
16
Spectacular cave paintings marked the birth of a world-shattering
phenomenon: writing. The significance of these paintings is still
uncertain.
The explanations for their nature differ. They could have something to
do with magic, maybe they were intended for amusement or perhaps
they were the first historical documents. One thing is certain though,
cave paintings were images intended to communicate something.

In the beginning
After the last Ice Age, around 10,000 BC, the world population
increased. Fertile regions in the Middle East, like Mesopotamia and
Egypt, became more densely populated. Until that time, most peoples
were nomadic. But from that time, the peoples settled down and
developed from nomads into farmers. Crops were sown and the
harvests were traded. Eventually these peoples began to build towns
and permanent housing. To guide and control their developing society,
rules and agreements were introduced.

Need for measures and systems


All these activities led to a need for other means of communication,
besides spoken language. People developed measures for length and
volume. The measurement units they used were simple.
They restricted themselves to the tried and tested parts of their own
body: fingers, thumbs and feet. Gradually, counting systems came into
use. At first, a distinction was made between the “digits” one, two and
many. But the use of ‘many’ led to misunderstandings. One of the first
counting systems was based solely on ‘one and two’. So the product of
three was two plus one. The product of five was two plus two plus one.

17
Putting it down in writing
Clay was most commonly used to record data. The countless clay
stones, tablets and envelopes that have been found by archaeologists
give us a good image of the way in which administration and
accountancy were conducted in these days. These findings mark the
beginning of the development of the first written languages.

A clay tablet and a clay envelope

18
Written languages appeared at various times in history and in various
parts of the world. Around 1700 BC, the Chinese ideogram appeared.
Roughly a thousand years later, the Mayans developed a completely
different form of writing on the other side of the world. The art of
writing is therefore called an independent invention.

Earlier languages: Sumeria


Sumeria
Before the people of Asia Minor started writing, they already had a
need for methods to record their business affairs. Their administration
consisted of a sort of bookkeeping with three-dimensional objects:
clay stones. This primitive method can be considered as the
predecessor of the later writing systems.

seat robe robe wool sheep ewe

The markings on the clay stones indicate certain values.


Both rows show the same signs. The first row shows the symbols
on stones (three-dimensional). The second row shows the written
symbols (­ two-dimensional).

Stones with symbols


For a long period of time, from 10,000 BC onwards, people used stones
in a variety of shapes to record written data. These stones were shaped
like balls, disks, squares, cylinders, cones or rectangles.
All stones were marked with symbols. Each symbol had a meaning and
indicated ‘what’ it was about: sheep, chair, wool, bread, cow, etc.
The number of stones matched the quantity: units, measures or
weights. For counting abstract matters, they had stones that only
expressed a number.

19

1 10 10 100 or 3600 3600 1 60 600

Stones for numbers. Both rows show the same signs.


The first row shows stones with signs (three-dimensional).
The second row shows the written signs (two-dimensional).

At the beginning of the third millennium BC, trade increased


enormously. Production, stock taking, shipping, taxation and salary
administration imposed new demands on traditional bookkeeping.
This development came to expression in the increasing number of
symbols. The variation in the shape of the stones also extended greatly.

dog grain lion

Increasing trade demanded innovation. This resulted in stones with new


symbols and shapes.

20
Archaeological finds indicate that the development of Egyptian icons
started around 3400 BC. These icons were the predecessors of the
later hieroglyphs. Before that time there was only spoken language.

Earlier languages: Egypt


Breakthrough
Written language evolved from attempts to develop a means of
accounting. Ancient Egyptians tried to keep track of their live stock, for
instance. Therefore they started counting with stripes and collecting
these stripes into numbers. They then recorded these numbers on clay
tablets, stone or papyrus. This was an important breakthrough for the
development of writing.

The digits 1 to 10 in hieroglyphics

Hieroglyphs for larger numbers

The use of stripes presumably originated in the depiction of extended


fingers. Right to this very day fingers are used to learn counting.
The Latin word for finger is ‘digit’ and this word is still used in modern
languages.

Symbols for words


The Ancient Egyptians discovered that individual words could be
represented by individually stylised symbols. This form of writing was
quite straight-forward:
- the image of a sitting man signified ‘sitting man’;
- the image of an eye signified ‘eye’.

21
Sitting man Eye

This visual language is the predecessor of the hieroglyphic writing


that the Egyptians used for a long time. This written language steadily
became more complex, mostly due to assigning additional meanings
to existing icons. Where at first the depiction of an eye solely signified
an eye, later on it also meant ‘sight’. Thus a sitting man with his hand
by his mouth could be interpreted in many ways: call, complain, thirst,
whisper, swallow, bite, etcetera.

Sitting man with his hand by his mouth

From hieroglyphs onward

Hieroglyphs

Hieroglyphs were mainly used as inscriptions on religious objects,


such as temple walls and coffins. The term ‘hieroglyph’ is deducted
from two Greek words: ‘hieros’ meaning holy and ‘glypho’ meaning
inscription. When using hieroglyphs to write on papyrus or linen,
people gradually wanted to actually ‘write’, rather than ‘draw’ their
text.

By trying to write hieroglyphs quicker, the symbols used became more


and more distorted. The symbols grew from mainly pictorial signs
towards a sort of stenography called ‘hieratic’.

22
Hieratic characters

By writing in hieratic, people still used a brush to write. To write even


quicker, they started using a pen. And by using a different ‘tool’ for
writing, the characters they wrote changed along. The characters
grew even more abstract and evolved from ‘stenography’ into actual
characters. This type of writing is called ‘demotic’.

Demotic

These three ‘types’ of writing did not evolve one out of the other, but
existed along side of each other for a long period of time. All three
were applied in different situations, depending mainly on the time
a writer had available for his writing and the purpose that his text
served.

The Stone of Rosette


The Stone of Rosette is a basalt slab measuring 114 x 72 x 28 cm.
It was found in 1799 in the small Egyptian village of Rosette, located in
the western Nile delta. The stone contains the inscriptions of a single
text in three different scripts.

23
The Stone of Rosette

The text on The Stone of Rosette appears in hieroglyphs, demotic,


and Greek. The representation of a single text in three different script
variants enabled the French scholar Jean François Champollion to
decipher hieroglyphs in 1822.

Today the Stone of Rosette is kept at the British Museum in London.

24
Around 2000 BC, the Asiatic peoples were in turmoil due to extensive
migrations. From the Far East they migrated to the West: to Persia and
Anatolia. In the same period the Semitic peoples came to Mesopotamia.
The Acadians ultimately assumed the power in Mesopotamia.
They started to write their own language in the existing Sumerian
cuneiform.

Earlier languages: Cuneiform


Learning another language
The age of the migration of people was a troubled time, in which tribal
conflicts and wars had the upper hand. The migrations dispersed all
sorts of languages and led to increasing language confusion.
The independent cultures and various languages as such continued
to exist. But alongside these, people had to learn to understand and
read the language of possible intruders or oppressors. Even if it was
for no other reason than that laws, government, trade, taxes, banking,
etcetera, all used the language of the oppressor.

25
Meaning Original Cuneiform Early Assyrian
pictogram pictogram Babylonian writing
writing

Bird

Fish

Cow

Grain

Orchard

Ploughing
cultivating

A few examples of the development of cuneiform writing from pictogram to


Assyrian writing.

Writing routine changes cuneiform


In the third millennium BC, the Sumerians already wrote their
ideograms with a certain routine. Because the ideographs were
pressed into the soft clay with the slanted edge of the stylus, the
curved lines disappeared. As a result, the ideographs developed into
collections of nail-shaped stripes: cuneiform. Finally the ideographs
disappeared and pure Assyrian cuneiform remained.

26
Hammurabi’s rule
One of the finest examples of cuneiform writing is the Code of
Hammurabi. Hammurabi was the most famous of all Babylonian kings
(approx. 1728 to 1686 BC). He brought the whole of Mesopotamia
under one rule. From that moment until the beginning of our calendar,
Babylon remained the political and cultural centre of the whole of Asia
Minor.

The Code of Hammurabi is inscribed


on a stele of black diorite stone.
The stele measures 2.25 m in height
and 1.8 m in circumference.
It was discovered during excavations
at Susa, in 1902.

The top of the stele is engraved


with picture of Shamash, the
sun god. Shamash is seated on a
throne handing a sceptre and ring
to Hammurabi. This symbolises
the divine origin of the Hammurabi
Code.

The Code of Hammurabi is kept at


the Louvre Museum in Paris.

27
Writing changes, but the message remains
One of Hammurabi’s laws perfectly illustrates how the content
-the message - of written language survived for many centuries while
the writing itself changed. In the cuneiform from 1700 BC, we can
still see a combination of nail-shaped stripes and ideographs. In the
translation into Assyrian signs, around 700 BC, we see pure cuneiform
without ideograph or pictogram.

The development from


pictogram to cuneiform
The same law, represented
in two different forms
of writing: on the left
pictograms and cuneiform
shapes (1700 BC), on the
right Assyrian cuneiform
(700 BC).

28
±1700 bc pictograms ±700 bc
and cuneiform shapes

If a merchant

to a trade name

silver as a loan

has given

(and) where he went

loss

has seen

the price of the silver

he must hand back.

29
History tells us how language has become an important verhicle
of culture.
By studying history carefully, we can form an impression of the future.

Earlier languages: Native American


At present, virtually no-one one writes in ideographs and cuneiform
anymore. Certain written and spoken languages fall into disuse and
disappear with the passage of time. A language is thus not only tied to
a certain culture, but also to a specific time. Language is a
phenomenon that develops in conjunction with the needs of a specific
civilisation.

Signs are also language


Several archaeological schools of thought believe that various types of
writing owe their origin to drawings. How signs can tell a story can be
seen from an image story from the North American Sioux Indians. The
story is composed of pictograms and ideograms. Pictograms are signs
that actually depict a tangible subject: ‘buffalo’ or ‘meat’, for example.
Ideograms are signs that are more abstract and that depict less
concrete subjects: ‘White Beaver’ or ‘two years’, for example.

Today’s signs
Signs, especially pictograms, are still used in our time. In factories,
offices, airports and public buildings we find all sorts of signs that tell
us something. Even traffic signs are considered pictograms.
Although it would be hard to write an entire story using only
pictograms, these signs are little stories in their own right. The use of
pictograms and signs in general is so common, that we do not realise
what a great part of our daily lives is governed by these signs.

30
A story from North American Sioux Indians
The entire story is composed of pictograms and ideograms.
The story starts in the middle.

1. Two brothers, the one the chief called Spotted Elk and the other called White
Beaver, lived through a severe winter.
2. Three members of their tribe froze to death.
3. During the great famine, their women hungered and a two-year-old daughter
contracted whooping cough.
4. The medicine man came, but the daughter of White Beaver died and
everyone had much grief.
5. The chief visited the wise man of the village and learned that the sun would
come soon.
6. The weather would improve. The buffalo would come close to the camp.
There would be food in abundance.
7. Three days later the sentries did indeed see the buffalo.
8. They gathered a great quantity of meat that they hung to dry on sticks.
9. They held a feast, but did not forget to put a flag on the grave of the young girl.

31
When studying the history of language, it often seems that the need
for administration and bookkeeping marks the beginning of the
development of a way of writing. We thus find such a development in
the great civilisations of the Andes, of which the Inca Empire was the
last. Around 1000 BC, a system of knotted cords called ‘quipus’ was
used.

Earlier languages: The Inca Empire


The ‘quipu’ was a quite sophisticated way of bookkeeping.
A quipu could indicate precisely how much was paid in taxes, for
example. Even after many years this information would still be
available. The Incas could also keep an eye on supplies using quipus.
Heads of livestock and quantities of gold and silver were also
accurately recorded by tying knots. Even the Spanish conquerors were
impressed by this reliable administration system.

An Inca inspects his storage rooms and


receives a bookkeeping overview, a fully
corrected quipu, from his accountant.

32
A quipu, as it was used in the Inca Empire. Quipus consist of
knotted cotton cords. Combinations of flat knots,
figure-of-eight knots and slipknots were used. The knots
were tied from top to bottom in decreasing value. To classify
their bookkeeping, the Incas used cords in different colours.

33
What history tells us
Language is based on mutual agreement
Illustrated by stories from the past, it is now quite clear that each
culture that existed in the last 5000 years experienced an independent
development of spoken and written language. The diversity of the
systems and languages discussed so far indicates that the proper use
of a language should start with mutual agreement. A sign, groove,
print, gesture, knot or stone only has a meaning, as long as this
meaning is agreed upon.

34
At the end of the Middle-Ages, the activities of Geoffrey Chaucer
(approx. 1340-1400) made an important contribution to the
development of written English.
A century later, when the Renaissance reached its peak an event took
place that would have a profound effect for years to come: this was the
time in which Gutenberg produced his first printing press. The printers’
craft spread quickly throughout Europe. This marked the start for the
development of mass communication media.

The development of Standard English


Geoffrey Chaucer was a poet and writer and had connections in the
English Court. Due to his knowledge of Europe and various languages,
he was regularly sent on government commissions to Flanders,
Italy and France. As a writer, his work is generally divided into three
periods: the French period, the Italian period and the period in which
he wrote his best known masterpiece
“The Canterbury Tales”. Chaucer wrote
prose, with a beauty that sometimes
becomes briefly visible in a word or a
few lines, but nevertheless leaves a deep
impression on the reader.

An illustration from the story: ‘The Knight’ by


Geoffrey Chaucer. That language already played
an important role in those days becomes evident
from the writer’s story. Somewhere, halfway
through the story he writes the following: “He
had fought in many battles, yet he was ‘as meek
as is a mayde’. Bad language he never used …”.

35
Chaucer is also known for is interest in the writing of technical
texts, such as a treatise of the ‘astrolabe’, an ancient astronomical
instrument. He also translated a few works of the Roman philosopher,
scientist and statesman Boethius.

The astrolabe, an angle gauge made of copper, was made by an astrologer from
Baghdad, Ibn al-Husayan bin Ahmad.

The works of Chaucer were certainly influenced by the literary,


sometimes poetic, qualities of both Arabic and Latin manuscripts.
Chaucer is considered to be an influential Renaissance writer and is
therefore also considered to be the founder of Standard English.

36
A new era of communication
A century later, the Renaissance had ended. Leonardo da Vinci
(1453-1519), an extremely gifted artist, researcher, inventor and writer,
then made a statement about text and writing. His statement looked
almost like a warning for the future. As if he already felt that the
complexity of language was a fact of ever increasing importance.

He wrote:
“An attempt to describe mankind in all his dimensions and proportions,
the form of limbs and all functions in detail, solely with words must be
discouraged. The reader will become increasingly more confused as
the writer describes more and more detail. It is absolutely essential to
draw as well as to write.”

The Vitruvian Man illustrates Da Vinci’s study


on human anatomy and physical proportions.
Five centuries later we can only conclude that
Da Vinci’s vision was remarkably accurate.

37
How the printer’s craft contributed to the development
of Standard English
The discovery of book printing made it possible for many people
throughout the world to learn how to read and write. From 1500
onwards, there has been a noticeable progress in the field of
technology and communication.

But printing was already known before that time. A print has been
discovered that was based on a woodcut from China. The illustration
belongs to a Chinese translation of a Sanskrit text. This print dates
from the year 868 AD.

Old woodcut, China, 868 AD, “The Learning Buddha”.

The printer’s craft spread rapidly throughout Europe. The Bible was
the first book that became widely available. From then on, everyone
could now peruse the contents to form their own opinion. Since then,
the quantity of print increased and printed media have grown to play
a significant part in our lives.

38
The Industrial Revolution
Ever since the art of printing was used throughout the world,
developments succeeded one another rapidly. Due to The Industrial
Revolution (1850), this flow of developments received an additional
impulse. The Industrial Revolution led to an enormous expansion in
mass production.

During the past five hundred years countless new products were
invented. Over that same period of time all sorts of scientific and
industrial specialisations arose. These developments caused the
creation of new terminology. But the variety and diversity in terms
and jargon words also created increasing language confusion and
misunderstandings. This, of course, is a breeding place for chaos.

One conclusion is that people can easily be confused by the multiple


meanings and synonyms that words can have, as well as by complex
sentence structures. But if we look closer at the users of technical
information, we can also conclude that in today’s world of globalisation
our audience has changed, and we need to adapt to that.

Globalisation
Over the past decades products and processes have become more
complex, while companies worldwide increasingly export their
products and consequently having to deal with different markets and
different languages.

English is the main language used for technical documentation, but we


are often required to provide the documentation in the official language
of the countries to which we export to. However, if the English (which
is very often used as a source language for translations) is difficult
to understand and sometimes ambiguous, we can’t expect the
translations to be perfect either. They are bound to contain errors,
ambiguity and misinterpretations due to the issues in the original.

Therefore, in order to avoid confused and frustrated consumers, but


more importantly to avoid the risk of dangerous situations, damage
and sometimes even product liability claims, we need to:
1. Provide our audience with information in his/her language
2. At his/her educational level
3. Using unambiguous terminology that he/she understands

39
Today, we have a language at our disposal that allows us to write
technical documentation that is clear to read, write and understand:
Simplified Technical English. The next chapter of this book tells all
about its origin, development, and success.

40
Advanced Technology
for Clear Documentation
Simplified Technical English
3rd edition

PART III
Simplifying Technical English

Published by Tedopres International B.V., the Netherlands, 2010

41
42
Simplifying a language is not an easy task
If we were to simplify a language, to make it easy to read, write, and
understand, why choose English? The answer is quite simple: of all
languages, English is the most widely spread language throughout
the world. This distribution started when England established
colonies in many parts of the world. Later on, the industry and
international business ensured further spread. Nowadays, in a major
part of the world, students learn English as a second language to
their native language.

English is the major language in most industries. It has grown to


become the language mostly used for writing technical documentation
and for international communications in general. Therefore, it was an
obvious choice to use English as a basis for a simplified language.

Many meanings
In English, many words may have multiple meanings.
The word ‘axis’, for example, means:
1. a straight line around which a body rotates;
2. the second vertebra of the neck;
3. a main line of direction;
4. a wild animal found in India.

An inventive writer might even succeed in combining these meanings


into a single sentence: “Turning on his axis, he grasped the axis along
its axis and snapped its neck at the axis.”

This example shows how much confusion there can be. Most people
reading this sentence would have to reach for the dictionary to unravel
part of this linguistic puzzle. Even by doing so, the puzzler is not likely
to get any certainty about the actual meaning. The dictionary actually
gives a lot more possible meanings than the four variations selected.
In a random dictionary ‘axis’ is mentioned 11 times as an entry. One
of these entries has 4 different meanings. At another of these entries
there are another 4 different meanings. The other 9 entries also have
multiple meanings.

43
Potential confusion
Communication should not be a problem, as long as we all stick to
the agreements. But because language is a living phenomenon and a
certain word sometimes acquires another, an extra or a new meaning,
the agreements must be revised regularly.

In our world of globalisation this is of great importance. If people all


over the world wish to understand what they are reading,
one unambiguous language is needed.
A single language, in which each word has only one meaning and in
which each word is only one part of speech. One word must no longer
give rise to any misunderstandings. A word must be functional.
The meaning of a word must no longer be derived from the context as
in this example:

- terminal as in terminal building, a place where passengers or cargo


are loaded or unloaded
- terminal meaning computer workstation
- terminal meaning an electrical connection point

In a simplified language, the word bolt should be used in only one way.
The other possibilities are no longer valid for example:
- the sound made the horse bolt
- a bolt of cloth
- a bolt of lightning

44
In history, there have been several attempts to produce a version
of controlled English. This chapter describes some of the major
developments.

Previous attempts to control English


The creation of BASIC English by Ch. K. Ogden
Charles Kay Ogden made the first attempt to provide the world with
a controlled version of the English language that would be easier
to understand. In 1932 he published his basic language: ‘BASIC
English’. In this respect BASIC means: British, American, Scientific,
International Commercial.
Ogden developed a system with rules and a simple grammar.
His BASIC English contained 850 words that could be learned
within a month. In the early 1930’s, the system was approved by the
Orthological Institute as the International Second Language. Under the
leadership of E.C. Graham, preparations were made at this institute
to further elaborate the system. The rules and grammar of BASIC
English were defined and the entirety was published in book form with
an official list of words.

Ogden’s basic word list

45
In order to arrive at a simple and clear base language, a list of basic
words was compiled, where the words had to meet previously
determined requirements. The three criteria for the word selection in
Ch. K. Ogden’s word list were:
- actions;
- things;
- quality.

The system contained:


- 100 words related to an action;
- 600 words concerning things (of which 400 general and 200 pictured);
- 150 words falling under the concept quality (of which 100 general and
50 opposites).

46
Let’s look at the years, from 1850 onwards, in which the Industrial
Revolution showed its true colours. In France, England and America,
pioneers were experimenting with steam engines. Gradually, trains
were used and the car was invented. In America, around 1890, two
pioneers, Benjamin Holt and Daniel Best, were working independently
on the manufacture of farming machinery.

Caterpillar develops into a global company with its


own controlled language
The first tracked tractor
In the 1890’s, farmers were not entirely happy with their horse-driven
machines. Horses sank deep into the sodden ground, so that they
completely churned up the top layer. Benjamin Holt developed a steam
engine tractor with a track construction instead of broad steel wheels.
The test he held on November 24, 1904, exceeded his expectations.
The first usable tracked tractor was born: Caterpillar.

47
No knowledge of the English language
Shortly thereafter, the fame of the tracked tractor spread throughout
the world. Manufacture, sales and export gained momentum and
soon Caterpillar exported its products to all the corners of the world.
The instructions and manuals that accompanied these products were
written in English. However, maintenance and repair had to be carried
out on-site, often by the local population. Moreover, most of the
tracked tractors were used in places where no-one spoke English.

From BASIC English to a language for all the corners of the world
In 1970, Caterpillar developed Caterpillar Fundamental English (CFE).
In many ways this language was similar to Ogden’s BASIC English.
The similarity with BASIC English was the limited number of words.
The difference was that Caterpillar simplified its own version of
‘technical writing’ with it. The result was that non-English speaking
dealers, mechanics and drivers in all the corners of the world could
better understand the technical documents.

This remarkable outlook on providing service has contributed to


Caterpillar growing into a global company. In fact, Caterpillar is the
largest supplier of a variety of earth-moving machinery today.
For Caterpillar, the establishment of its own language yielded various
positive results: globalisation, better understanding, optimal
co-operation and cost reduction.

In 1972, Caterpillar published ‘A Dictionary of Caterpillar Fundamental


English’. The results of this language service were excellent: someone
who had never read or spoken a single word of English was able to
understand Caterpillar’s Fundamental English within a month.

The development of Caterpillar Technical English (CTE)


Thanks to the success of Caterpillar’s Fundamental English (CFE)
other major manufacturers also became interested. All of the
language developments they subsequently initiated were actually
variations, adjustments, additions or changes to Ogden’s principle.
Meanwhile, world trade still grew and the English language was
increasingly spoken by more and more people. At the same, time the
number of different products and accompanying parts still increased
too.

48
In an attempt to facilitate machine translation, Caterpillar developed a
more restrictive controlled language. At the beginning of the 1990’s the
company came out with a new controlled language:
Caterpillar Technical English (CTE).

The impulse towards automatic machine translation


Caterpillar Technical English included 8,000 general words and 50,000
technical terms. These 58,000 words may seem a lot. But actually it
was a selection from the approximately 1 million possibilities that were
in use by Caterpillar at that time.
CTE also included a number of carefully chosen syntax constructions.
These constructions were assembled in such a way that they could be
translated into 10 other languages easily. With this, Caterpillar gave
the impulse to automatic machine translation.

Syntax constructions
Caterpillar Technical English was developed at the same time as
a number of other controlled or simplified languages. Companies such
as Hyster, Eastman/Kodak, Ericsson, Digital, Xerox, IBM and Scania for
example were all attempting to standardise English or other languages
to some extent.
Besides the basic rule “one word = one meaning”, Caterpillar set a
second goal: the promotion of good syntax constructions. Syntax is the
study of the use of logic and parts of sentences. The wish to promote
good syntax constructions therefore applies to ‘the logical sequence of
the actions in language’.

The following three examples of pieces of procedural text have roughly


the same content and meaning.

1. Example of a random sentence


With the cover removed, tighten the screw using an Allen key while
holding the nut with a spanner before replacing the cover.

2. Example of a better syntax


While the cover is not fitted, tighten the screw using an Allen key
while holding the nut with a spanner. Refit the cover.

49
3. Example of a better syntax and clear style
- Remove the cover.
- Use a spanner to hold the nut and use an Allen key to tighten the
screw.
- Refit the cover.

Although the first example is correct, it is quite difficult to understand.


The second example is correct and easier to understand. The third
example obviously is easiest to read.

50
Using the first Caterpillar CFE language as a model, E.N. White
developed a controlled language for service and maintenance:
the International Language for Service and Maintenance (ILSAM).

ILSAM
ILSAM was characterised by a consistent word use. Research showed
which word was the most easily recognised in a specific meaning.
Let’s take the words ‘right’ and ‘left’ as examples. Please note that not
all meanings of right and left are used in this example.

- Right, as in ‘being correct’.


- Right, in the sense of: ‘traffic from the right’.
- Right, in the sense of: ‘politically oriented’.
- Right, in the meaning of: ‘turning clockwise’.
- Right, as in right-handed.
- Right is the opposite of left.
- Left is the opposite of right.
- Left, as in left-handed.
- Left, as: ‘being located on the left side’.
- Left, in the meaning of: ‘turning counter clockwise’.
- Left, in the sense of ‘remaining behind’.

Research shows that


‘left’ and ‘right’ are most
often used as opposites.
Therefore, in ILSAM
the other meanings are
excluded.

51
Another industry that required an unambiguous language was the
aerospace industry, particularly for maintenance documentation.
English is the most used language for technical documentation in the
aerospace industry. However, many endusers are non-native English
speakers. Especially these endusers are easily confused by complex
sentence structures and by the number of meanings and synonyms of
English words.

Unambiguous language use in aerospace:


the development of ASD Simplified Technical English
Before the 1980’s, some manufacturers in the aerospace industry
already made an effort to standardise written technical documentation.
McDonnell Douglas had produced a Technical Dictionary, whilst
Airbus Industrie had created a list of standard sentences. However,
these efforts were individual and were only part of the solution.

In the late 1970’s, the Association of European Airlines (AEA) (i.e.


the operators of aircraft) asked AECMA, the European Aerospace
Industries Association (i.e. the manufacturers of aircraft, now known
as ASD, the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe)
to go beyond these individual efforts by investigating the possibilities
of creating an industry-wide controlled language. This controlled
language would have to standardise both grammar and general
vocabulary. And consequently this would result in improved readability
of maintenance documentation, especially for non-native speakers.
Thanks to the improved readability of texts written in controlled
language, the translatability of these texts also improves.

52
About ASD
ASD (the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe)
was established in Paris in 1950 and was until 2004 known as AECMA,
which stands for “Association Européenne de Constructeurs de
Matériel Aérospatial”, or “The European Association of Aerospace
Industries”. ASD assembles all matters of common interest at the level
of aircraft/systems, engines, equipment and components. ASD advises
in the area of economic, financial, legal and technical problems.
ASD is a central organisation that makes a major contribution to the
standardisation of products, services and quality standards.
Current members of ASD are the national aerospace and defence
associations of all members of the European Union. The largest
European aerospace and defence companies are ASD members too,
and they also form the Council of ASD.

Creating a controlled language for the aerospace industry


At the end of the 1970’s AECMA began to investigate existing versions
of Controlled English. Based on these findings, AECMA finally decided
to develop its own version of Controlled English and named it “AECMA
Simplified English”. AECMA asked the Dutch company Fokker to do
some initial investigation, which resulted in a list of standardised
verbs. After that AECMA set up a project group in 1983. This group
included representatives of the AECMA members, these were:

- Fokker (The Netherlands), who chaired the group.


- British Aerospace (UK), military division.
- Aerospatiale (France), nowadays Airbus France, a subsidiary of
Airbus SAS.
- Aermacchi (Italy).
- MBB (Germany), later DaimlerBenz and now part of Airbus.

Although the original request for Simplified English came from the civil
aircraft industry (AEA), it was clear right from the start that AECMA
Simplified English was also applicable to military aircraft. The project
group therefore included a member that represented a military aircraft
manufacturer. In 1984, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) of
America also joined the group, where McDonnell Douglas made
a significant contribution by providing the Technical Dictionary they had
worked on.

53
The birth of AECMA Simplified English
The combined forces of European and American representatives
resulted in the first issue of the AECMA Simplified English Guide in
1986, entitled:
AECMA Simplified English, PSC-85-16598 “A Guide for the Preparation
of Aircraft Maintenance Documentation in the International Aerospace
Maintenance Language”.

After the merger of AECMA with EDIG and EUROSPACE to form


AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) in 2004,
the Simplified English guide was renamed to ASD Simplified Technical
English and became an official specification: ASD-STE100. Later on, it
also received European Community Trade Mark No. 004901195, and is
now known as:

SIMPLIFIED TECHNICAL ENGLISH, Specification ASD-STE100


European Community Trade Mark No. 004901195
International specification for the preparation of maintenance
documentation in a controlled language.

At the time of the printing of this booklet, issue 5 in April 2010 is the
latest release.

What is ASD Simplified Technical English?


ASD Simplified Technical English uses the English language as
a basis. However, ASD Simplified Technical English is characterised by
a defined set of grammar and syntax rules, and a restricted vocabulary.
When writing text for technical documentation in Simplified English,
the text becomes concise and more precise.
ASD Simplified Technical English is a controlled language. It uses a
restricted vocabulary of approximately 1000 words and it has a set of
rules that apply to style and syntax.

The need for ASD Simplified Technical English is evident, considering


the way in which the complexity of aircraft increased ever since the
invention of the aircraft. Parallel to the increase in complexity, the
volume of the technical documentation accompanying the aircraft
increased.

54
The history of ASD Simplified Technical English
A brief and not exhaustive overview of the history of ASD Simplified
Technical English

1979 The Association of European Airlines (AEA) asks AECMA to


investigate the readability of its aircraft manuals.
1980 Fokker offers to develop Simplified English writing rules.
1981 ATA (Air Transport Association of America) discusses
Simplified English with AEA / AECMA.
1982 After analysis of existing texts, a draft list of verbs is
identified.
1983 AIA joins forces with AECMA.
1986 A basic AECMA Simplified English document is issued,
including Simplified English writing rules and dictionary.
1987 ATA iSpec 100 (now ATA iSpec 2200) makes AECMA
Simplified English a mandatory requirement for support
documentation on commercial aircraft.
1987-1989 The Simplified English dictionary is extended, a.o. with
various examples of terms.
1995 Complete revision of Simplified English Guide and official
release of Issue 1 of the Simplified English Guide.
1998 First revision of Issue 1: updates and amendments. 2001
Second revision of Issue 1: updates and amendments.
2004 Complete revision of Issue 1 and official release of Issue 2
of the Simplified English Guide.
2004 Release of Issue 3 with no content changes except that
the Simplified English Guide has been renamed to ASD
Simplified Technical English and has become an official
specification: ASD-STE100.
2007 Release of Issue 4: ASD-STE100 receives European
Community Trade Mark No. 004901195 and is renamed
to “International specification for the preparation of
maintenance documentation in a controlled language”.
2010 Release of Issue 5: extensive modifications, including the
approval of some new words and the revision of more than
200 examples in the dictionary.

55
ASD Simplified Technical English rules
A brief overview of the rules of ASD Simplified Technical English.
Please note that this overview is not intended to be exhaustive.

- Use only words that are in the dictionary.


- Use the approved words only as the part of speech given and with
the approved meaning of the words.
- Make instructions as specific as possible.
- Use consistent spelling.
- Use the approved forms of verbs only to make:
- An infinitive
- An imperative
- The simple present tense
- The simple past tense
- The simple future tense
- Use the active voice, avoid passive verb tenses.
- Keep to one topic per sentence.
- Keep sentences as short as possible:
- Maximum 20 words in procedural text
- Maximum 25 words in descriptive text
- Identify commands correctly, especially in warnings or cautions.

The success of ASD Simplified Technical English


ASD Simplified Technical English proved to be a success, resulting in
advantages, such as:
- Improved readability, resulting in:
- Fewer errors and misunderstandings
- Reduced time for maintenance, repair and overhaul
- Reduced time for training
- Increased maintainability.
- Increased reusability.
- Faster, cheaper and better translations, sometimes up to 40% per
language.

56
ASD-STE100 required for maintenance documentation in aerospace
industry
ASD Simplified Technical English is currently used by many aerospace
manufacturers around the world, like for instance Boeing and Airbus.
Aerospace manufacturers as well as their suppliers apply Simplified
Technical English to products for both civil and the military purposes.

S1000D and ATA iSpec2200 require ASD Simplified Technical English


The above mentioned advantages have also resulted in ASD Simplified
Technical English becoming a requirement for certain standards in
the aerospace industry: the ATA (Air Transport Association of America)
calls for Simplified Technical English in ATA iSpec 2200 (formerly ATA
iSpec 100), for use in preparing technical documentation in support of
aircraft maintenance, and so does the S1000D specification.

Simplified Technical English and structured authoring


S1000D
The S1000D specification, another publication of ASD, is produced to
establish documentation standards for any civil or military vehicle. It is
based on XML for the production and use of electronic documentation.
In addition, the S1000D defines a Common Source Data Base (CSDB)
to provide source information. This information is used to compile
publications and for use in electronic logistics information systems to
deliver information modules directly to the user.

DITA
S1000D’s equivalent for industries other than aerospace and defence
is DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture), an XML-based
architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering technical
information ASD Simplified Technical English is required by S1000D.
In addition, Simplified Technical English facilitates structured
authoring standards like S1000D and DITA as it facilitates reusability.

57
ASD (AECMA)

Simplified Technical English


(The ASD Simplified Technical English Guide, available since 1986)

58
Other industries are joining in
Although ASD Simplified Technical English was originally intended
for aircraft maintenance documentation, and more specifically, for
maintenance documentation, several industries outside aerospace,
such as the medical, machinery, software, semiconductor, banking and
insurance industries have seen the advantages of using a controlled
language. This has led to the development of other controlled
languages, where in many cases ASD Simplified Technical English is
used as a basis.

Simplified Technical English explained


Various aspects are characteristic for the English language:
- English knows many forms: speech and writing styles depend on
the country in which the language is taught and used.
- Even the most perfect English is difficult to understand if the
grammar is complex and the word use is ambiguous.

Simplified Technical English was developed to prevent


misunderstandings and misinterpretations that are caused by
language problems. Simplified Technical English helps users to
understand technical documentation. Although this particularly
applies to non-native speakers, it also benefits native speakers.

How does Simplified Technical English work?


Simplified Technical English is a controlled language. It comprises
57 rules that govern the style and grammatical constructions that can
be used, as well as general dictionary with approximately 900 approved
words and 1500 non-approved words. The rules of Simplified Technical
English impose the following on writers:

- Simple syntax.
- Approved vocabulary.
- Approved meanings for these words, where most words have only
one approved meaning.

The objective of Simplified Technical English is to obtain a brief and


above all unambiguous text.

59
How Simplified Technical English works in practice
The writer will apply rules such as:

- Avoid writing in the passive voice.


- Write short and simple sentences.
- Limit to one topic per sentence.
- Be as specific as possible.
- Be consistent.
- Only use approved words (general dictionary or approved
nomenclature).

Example
This example shows the differences between non-standarised text and
text written in Simplified Technical English.

Non-standarised text
It is equally important that there should be no seasonal changes in the
procedures, as, although aircraft fuel system icing due to water
contamination is more often met in winter, it can be equally dangerous
during the summer months.

Text in Simplified Technical English


Use the same procedures all the time because water in the fuel system
can freeze during summer or winter.

Note that to master the writing rules of Simplified Technical English,


one needs training.

60
Advanced Technology
for Clear Documentation
Simplified Technical English
3rd edition

PART IV
Simplified Technical English in practice

Published by Tedopres International B.V., the Netherlands, 2010

61
62
The richness and complexity of our languages is enormous.
Literature and especially poetry still give testimony to the lyrical use of
language. With the right choice of words, writers and poets can evoke
a wide range of emotions.
However, when we need to transfer technical information, we want to
avoid any misunderstandings in translation and interpretation.
We should therefore communicate as unambiguously as possible.
We can do so by using Simplified Technical English.

How to implement Simplified Technical English


The implementation of Simplified Technical English includes a few
steps.

Step 1. Standardise company and industry specific terminology.


Step 2. Train authors on the rules of Simplified Technical English.
Step 3. Use checker software for quality assurance.

Step 1. Standardise company and industry specific terminology


Every company has its own culture, terminology and language use,
which often vary from department to department. Within a company,
there often are various terms (including acronyms) in use that describe
the same concept. Or the same word is being used to describe two
different concepts. In order for the communication to be streamlined,
this issue needs to be taken care of.

Finding the right words


A good way to find company-specific terms is to analyse the existing
documentation of a company. For this purpose, the documentation
will be ‘mined’. Text mining results in a list of all terms used in the
documentation of a company.

63
What documentation to analyse?
It is necessary to analyse as much of the existing documentation as
possible. This includes for instance:
- Training material for instruction, maintenance and use.
- Service manuals.
- Operation manuals.
- Application notes.
- User manuals.
- Parts lists.
- Software strings.
- Software documentation.

Once text mining has been completed, the result of the analysis is a list
of terms that are industry and company-specific. This list needs to be
scrutinised to ensure that each term has only one meaning.

64
In order to write Simplified English, dictionaries must be complied
based on the results of text mining. These dictionaries should
obviously comply with the most important condition: ‘one word = one
meaning’.

Dictionaries
When writing in Simplified Technical English, a writer must use
2 dictionaries:
1. The basic Simplified Technical English dictionary
2. A technical dictionary, containing all company-specific terms.

The basic Simplified Technical English dictionary


The basic Simplified Technical English dictionary contains
approximately 900 general-purpose English words that are approved
and approximately 1,500 non-approved words, each with one or more
approved synonyms.

65
Examples
The verb ‘multiply’ is in the basic dictionary, and it is an approved verb.
About the word multiply, the dictionary tells us:
- that the word multiply is the part of speech verb.
- that the word multiply is approved.
- that you can only use these forms of the verb:
- multiply
- multiplies
- multiplied
- that the meaning of this word is ‘to use multiplication to get a result.’
The dictionary also offers an approved example:
“Multiply the indicator value by the scale value.”

The nouns in the dictionary are described in virtually the same way.
About the noun liquid, the dictionary tells us:
- that the term liquid has the part of speech noun.
- that the term liquid is an approved term.
- that the meaning of this term is ‘a material that is not a gas or a
solid.’
The dictionary also offers an approved example:
“The converter changes the liquid into a gas.”

In the case of a non-approved term the dictionary will not only mention
that the term is non-approved, but it will also offer an approved
alternative.

The technical dictionary


This dictionary contains additional terms that are specific to an
industry, a company, a product or even a project. A technical dictionary
will normally contain:
- Common industry terms.
- Company specific terminology.

66
Examples
Not all words are described in the basic Simplified Technical English
dictionary. It is therefore necessary to include company or industry
specific words in the technical dictionary. Of course, when adding
new terms to the dictionary, careful consideration must be given to
whether or not the dictionary already contains a term that has the
same meaning. And whether the term that is going to be added, is the
simplest and most commonly used word.

Once it is clear that a term must be added, all attributes that describe
the term must be entered correctly, to make the dictionary as clear
and user-friendly as possible. Attributes are, for instance:
- part of speech.
- status: approved or non-approved.
- in the case of a verb, which forms of the verb are approved.
- the meaning of the term.

As with the basic dictionary, the technical dictionary also consists of


approved and non-approved words.

New terminology
Often new terminology is required to describe new products.
Every writer can keep a list of new terms that can regularly be
collected and then added to the main dictionaries.

Step 2. Train authors on the rules of Simplified Technical English


The next step is to train the authors, because writing in Simplified
Technical English is possible only after having learnt the rules and
pitfalls. Moreover, writers should fully understand the reason why they
should be writing in Simplified Technical English: to adapt to the needs
of their audience. During training the rules governing style, grammar
and syntax are covered. Additionally, training will comprise hands-on
instruction, with a special focus on any specific problems found during
the analysis of existing documentation. Text mining tends to indicate
various company-specific problems that occur regularly.

67
Step 3. Use checker software for quality assurance
Even the most experienced technical writer will sometimes suffer from
a writer’s block or inadvertently use words and phrases which do not
comply with the rules of Simplified Technical English. This is where a
checker tool comes in handy. A checker tool can help by taking care of
the mechanical aspects of Simplified Technical English checking, thus
taking the routine work away from the writer. This allows the writer to
focus on those aspects of technical writing where his expertise is most
needed.

Very much like the spelling and grammar checker that is incorporated
in most word processors, a Simplified Technical English checker tool
checks text for compliance with the Simplified Technical English rules.
This check includes a grammatical check and a check performed on
terminology. The checker tool points out any problems in the text to
the writer.

HyperSTE – Simplified Technical English software


HyperSTE is the leading quality assurance software for standardised
documentation. HyperSTE ensures compliance with corporate
terminology and style guide rules as an interactive checker tool for the
author and as a quality measurement tool for the editor.

HyperSTE – Tailored to Your Controlled Language Needs


It is important to use clear and consistent terminology throughout
all types of documents; however, for technical English you may
opt to use stricter rules than with other types of documentation.
Based on the writing rules of the Simplified Technical English
specification, HyperSTE’s profile manager allows you to select
different rules for various types of documentation: apply up to 57
writing rules for technical content, but be more flexible with other
types of documentation. In addition, HyperSTE allows you to use up to
3 dictionaries at the same time. In addition to the corporate technical
dictionary, you can add dictionaries that are product or project specific.

68
HyperSTE Features
General
- Checks for terminology, grammar, style and spelling. Depending
on which editing tool you use, checking can take place on element,
paragraph, page, page-range or document basis.
- Based on the Simplified Technical English specification, but rules
can be configured to customer-specific needs.
- Supports multiple dictionaries.
- HyperSTE’s Profile Manager allows you to create, save and load
different profiles for different types of documents.
- Automatically differentiates different types of text (eg, procedural
vs. descriptive).
- Feedback and reports available in multiple languages, including
German, French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.
- Available as fixed licenses as well as concurrent licenses.

69
Interactive Checking
- Integrated into various authoring tools, including Arbortext (Epic)
Editor, Adobe FrameMaker, Microsoft Word, JustSystems XMetal.
- Available as a stand-alone version for PDF files.
- Flags issues using colors (each color represents a different issue).
- Gives feedback in the form of corrections, suggestions, and
explanations.
- Automatically rechecks sentence after correction has been made.
- Export interactive feedback to HTML to share feedback.
- Automatic correction of terminology through ‘replace all’ feature.
- Automatic conversion of units of measurement.
- Automatic conversion of American English to British English, and
visa versa.

Reporting
- Check one or multiple files.
- View results in Microsoft Excel or XML.
- Compliance rating.
- Shows metrics per enabled rule, including frequency and context.
- Create management reports.

70
Terminology Management
- Update and maintain dictionaries with new terminology using
HyperSTE DMT (Dictionary Maintenance Tool).
- HyperSTE DMT links to Terminology and Translation Memory
systems, including MultiTerm.
- HyperSTE DMT allows easy imports from various types of files.

71
Efficient Conversion of Existing (Legacy) Documentation
As it is hard to find time or a budget to convert existing documentation
to comply with the corporate terminology and style guide rules,
HyperSTE allows this process to be less tedious: the report will
give insight into where the biggest problems are. Based on these
problems, you can create various profiles (eg. start with terminology,
and gradually add more rules based on where the biggest problems
are) which allows for a more efficient conversion rather than having to
rewrite everything over again.

Simplified Technical English in practice: industry


examples
To demonstrate the benefits of Simplified Technical English, we will be
showing you a few examples from various industries.

Example computer network security

BEFORE

The firewall is the world’s first key-upgradeable integrated security


appliance. Its Intelligent Layered Security architecture delivers
multiple layers of protection that work together to detect and block
threats from attacking your network. Stateful firewall, VPN, intrusion
prevention, application filtering, spam blocking, and content filtering
are all integrated into a single appliance and managed through a
common interface. The firewall X is a superior security device designed
with the future in mind. This platform has a streamlined 1 U form
factor, increased processing power, higher memory and port count
compared to existing firewall devices. There is an LCD display and
front panel controls that allow access to status information without
going to the management station. The firewall X even has an external
hard drive bay for storage expandability in future applications. As your
security requirements grow, the firewall X platform is fully upgradeable
to a higher performing model by simply entering a license key.
Additionally, you can purchase a license key to activate additional
network ports and high availability functionality to support your
network and reliability requirements.

72
As new security services become available for the firewall X to combat
against future threats, a simple download and license key is all that is
needed to enable your firewall X to provide added layers of defense.
The firewall X is a rack-mountable device that is easily installed into
your network. For information on installing the firewall X, see the
firewall QuickStart Guide or the “Getting Started” chapter in the User
Guide.

AFTER

The firewall is the first security device that can use upgrades by a
license key. The device has different layers of protection that find and
prevent damage to your network.
The firewall has these components:
- A stateful firewall.
- A VPN.
- A protection against intrusion.
- A software program filter.
- A spam filter.
- A content filter.

You can control all the components from the same interface.
With the front panel controls you can find the status information from
an LCD display. The firewall X also has an external hard-drive bay to
get upgrades. You can upgrade the performance of the firewall X with
a new license key and new software.
You can enable:
- A new network port.
- The high availability software.
- A new security layer.

You can install the firewall X in a rack. The firewall X is easy to install
on the network. For more data on the installation of the firewall X,
refer to the firewall QuickStart Guide or the “Getting Started” chapter
in the User Guide.

The BEFORE example has 248 words, the AFTER example not only has
only 176 words (reduction of almost 30%), it also has better structure
and is written in a clear and concise way.

73
Example computer network security

BEFORE

Cabling the Firewall


Use the following procedure to cable your firewall:
1. Shut down your computer.
2. If you connect to the Internet through a DSL modem or cable
modem, disconnect the power supply to this device.
3. Disconnect from your computer the Ethernet cable that connects
your DSL modem, cable modem, or other Internet connection to
your computer. Connect this cable to the WAN port (labeled WAN 1)
on the firewall.
4. Connect one end of the straight-through Ethernet cable supplied
with your firewall to one of the seven numbered Ethernet ports
(labeled 0-6) on the firewall. Connect the other end to the Ethernet
port of your computer.
5. If you connect to the Internet through a DSL modem or cable
modem, reconnect the power supply to this device. The indicator
lights flash and then stop. The modem is ready for use.
6. Attach the AC adapter to the firewall. Connect the AC adapter to
a power source. The power light on the firewall goes on and the
WAN1 indicator lights flash and then stop. The firewall is ready for
use.
7. Restart the computer. During restart, your computer will
communicate with the firewall. One pair of the Ethernet port
indicator lights flash and then stop. Your computer is now
connected to the firewall.

If you circled HP Enabled = Yes in the TCP/IP Settings table on page ,


your firewall is now fully installed. You should be able to test this by
opening your Web browser and browsing to your favorite Internet site.
However, if you circled HP Enabled = No, please continue to enable HP
on your computer and configure the firewall for a static IP or PPPoE
address.

74
AFTER

Connecting the Firewall


Use this procedure to connect your firewall, Ethernet and power
cables:
1. Shut down your computer.
2. If you use a DSL or cable modem to connect to the Internet,
disconnect its power supply.
3. Find the Ethernet cable between the modem and your computer.
Disconnect this cable from your computer and connect it to the
firebox external interface (WAN 1).
4. Find the Ethernet cable supplied with your firebox. Connect this
cable to a trusted interface (0-6) on the firewall. Connect the other
end of this cable to the Ethernet interface of your computer.
5. If you use a DSL or cable modem, connect its power supply.
6. Find the AC adapter supplied with your firewall. Connect the AC
adapter to the firewall and to a power source. The firewall power
indicator light comes on and the external interface indicator lights
flash and then come on. The firewall is ready.

WARNING: Only use the AC adapter supplied with the firewall.


7. When the firewall is ready, start your computer.

The BEFORE example has 282 words, the AFTER example not only has
only 173 words (reduction of almost 40%), it is also written in a clear
and concise way.

75
Example Medical Industry

BEFORE

Complete tasks below before each startup


- Switch off the power to the hardware if power is on.
- Remove any obstructions (tubes, tips, screws, etc.) on the track.
- Ensure all drawers are empty.
- After a fast shutdown (Exit Immediately), remove any sample tubes
from the output trays and fill any partially processed input trays.
- After a fast shutdown, an accidental shutdown or power loss, remove
the tip from the transfer arm.

Press the Power On/Off button on the Input/Output module to turn on


the power to the hardware.

Select from the computer screen to start.

CAUTION

When the system is started or the drawer is unlocked, you must verify
all drawers are empty. If not, the system can put a sample tube in a
location in use which can cause a biohazard condition, loss of sample,
or cross contamination.

Select at the dialog box to confirm all drawers are empty.

Ensure the system is in Ready mode to process samples.

- Wait for the system to home and activate all components and
modules.
- The hardware is ready when the green button above each drawer
flashes.

Open and close all drawers until the lights do not flash presentative.

76
AFTER

Complete these tasks before each startup


- Make sure that the power of the hardware is OFF.
- Make sure there is no blockage (tubes, tips, screws) on the track.
- Make sure that all the drawers are empty.
- After a fast shutdown (Exit Immediately), make sure that the output
trays are empty and the input trays are full.
- After a fast shutdown, an accidental shutdown or a loss of power,
remove the pipette tip for the liquoter from the transfer arm.

Push the Power ON button on the Input/Output module to start the


hardware.

Select X to start the device.

CAUTION

Make sure that all the SIQ drawers are empty when you start the
system or when the Priority/SIQ drawer is unlocked. If the SIQ drawers
are not empty, there is a risk of injury, loss of sample, or cross
contamination.

Select X at the dialog box to make sure that all the drawers are empty.

Make sure that the system is ready to process the samples.

Activate all components and modules. The hardware is ready when the
green button above each drawer flashes.

Open and close all drawers until the lights are off.

77
Example avionics industry

BEFORE

CompactPCI supervision unit


The CompactPCI rack is provided with a Chassis Monitor Module (CMM)
that is hot swappable. The CMM can supervise the air temperature
in the rack, the power supply voltage, the power supply and fan units
operation. The CMM is also provided with digital input/outputs.
The digital input provides the rack ID to the Single Board Computer
(SBC). The CMM is provided with an Ethernet interface to the system.
It is also provided with an RS232 port for configuration of the unit.

Fan unit
The CompactPCI rack is provided with a hot swappable fan unit and air
filter that can be cleaned or replaced during operation.

The fan unit is supervised by the CMM. Thus malfunctioning fans can be
detected and replaced before making any impact on system operation.

AFTER

CompactPCI rack
The CompactPCI rack has a Chassis Monitor Module (CMM) that is
hot-swappable. The CMM monitors the air temperature in the rack, the
power supply voltage, the power supply and the operation of the fan
units. The CMM has a digital input and outputs. The digital input sends
the rack ID to the Single Board Computer (SBC). The CMM has an
Ethernet interface to the system. It also has an RS232 port to configure
the unit.

Fan unit
The CompactPCI rack has a hot-swappable fan unit and an air filter.
You can clean or replace these during operation.

The CMM monitors the fan unit. Use the CMM to find the
malfunctioning fans and replace them before they have an effect on the
system operation.

78
Example IT industry

BEFORE

Managing the System Remotely


You can configure, manage, and monitor the system from a computer
using the system’s web interface, VXX Web. You can also use the XYZ
Global Management System, SNMP, or the API commands.

Your choice of management tool depends on your network


environment:
• VXX Web requires only a web browser.
• XYZ Global Management System requires the Global Management
System application to be installed on your network.
• SNMP requires network management software on your network
management station.
• For more information about the API commands, refer to the
Integrator’s Reference Manual for the VXX Series.

Using VXX Web


You can use VXX Web to perform most of the calling and configuration
tasks you can perform on the local system.

Accessing VXX Web


To configure your browser to use VXX Web:
1. Be sure that you use Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later as your
web browser and that you have Java 1.2 or later installed.
2. Configure these settings:
• Allow cookies: Enabled
• Force pages to reload on every visit to a page: Enabled

To access the system using VXX Web:


1. On a computer, open a web browser.
2. In the browser address line, enter the system’s IP address,
for example, http://10.11.12.13, to go to VXX Web.
If Security Mode is enabled on the system, you must use secure
HTTPS access, for example, https://10.11.12.13. Click Yes in the
security dialog boxes that appear.
3. Enter admin as the user name, and enter the remote access
password, if one is set.

79
AFTER

How to Manage the System remotely


You can use the web interface, VXX Web, to configure, manage, and
monitor the system from a computer. You can also use the XYZ Global
Management System, SNMP, or the API commands.

Use the correct management tool for your network:


• For VXX Web, only a web browser is necessary.
• For the XYZ Global Management System, the Global Management
System application must be on your network.
• For SNMP, network management software must be on your
network management station.
• For more information about the API commands, refer to the
“Integrator’s Reference Manual for the VXX Series”.

Use VXX Web


You can use VXX Web to do most calling tasks and configuration tasks
that are available on the local system.

Get access to VXX Web


To configure your web browser to use VXX Web:
1. Be sure that you use Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher as
your web browser. Make sure that you have Java 1.2 or higher.
2. Configure these settings:
• “Allow cookies”: Enabled
• “Force pages to reload on every visit to a page”: Enabled

Use VXX Web to get access to the system:


1. On a computer, open a web browser.
2. In the address bar of the web browser, enter the IP address of the
system, for example, http://10.11.12.13, to go to VXX Web.
If Security Mode is enabled on the system, you must use
“secure HTTPS access”, for example, https://10.11.12.13.
Click Yes in the security dialog boxes that show.
3. Enter admin as the user name, and enter the remote access
password, if one is set.

80
Example IT industry

BEFORE

XYZ Client Installation


1. To install the XYZ Client, run the XYZ.EXE file from the CD.
On the Welcome to Setup Wizard screen the default is
C:\Program Files\XYZ\. Do not change the default. Click on the Next
button to proceed with the installation. Click on the Cancel button to
exit the install.
2. On the Backup of replaced files screen select the ‘No’ button for the
first time installation of UniTrack.
3. On the Setup summary screen click on the Next button to continue.
4. On the Setup completed screen click on the Done button to
complete the installation.
Installation of the XYZ software is now complete!!

AFTER

Installation of the XYZ client


1. Put the installation CD into the CD-ROM drive.
2. Use XYZ.exe to install the software.
3. Read the notes.
4. Do one of these steps:
- Click Next to install the software.
- Click Cancel to stop the installation of the software.

Note: You must not change the directory for installation:

5. Click No to install the XYZ software.


6. Click Next.
7. Click Done to complete the installation.

Results:
- Clearer instructions.
- Consistent use of words, reuse increase by 11%.
- Less words (from 109 to 76, reduction of 30%).
- Cheaper, better and faster translations.

81
Benefits of Simplified Technical English & HyperSTE

All the examples show the benefits of Simplified Technical English:


standardising terminology and style will result in technical text that is
easy to understand.

A survey amongst HyperSTE users in 2009 showed that the use


of HyperSTE and Simplified Technical English has resulted in the
following benefits:
- Up to 30% in cost savings on translation and localisation.
- Up to 40% in reduced word count.
- Quality improvement in writing and translations.
- Quality assurance and quality measurement for content.
- Up to 30% in reduced product cycle time.
- Up to 40% reduction in overall documentation cost.
- More efficient authors and editors.
- Improved safety.
- Improved customer service.
- Reduced time for maintenance and operation.
- Facilitates DITA, S1000D, SCORM, CMS and XML.
- Efficient conversion of legacy documents into STE.

Cost savings
Simplified Technical English will result in cost savings thanks to:
- Reduced risk of damage to the product.
- Reduced risk of liability claims.
- Reduced product life cycle cost.
- Time savings for you and your customer.
- Cost savings on translations: easier, faster, cheaper and better.

Simplified Technical English, an ideal source for translation


Although Simplified Technical English is much easier to understand
than ’standard’ technical English, technical documentation will
often still need to be translated into the languages of the countries
in which your products are sold. Even if it were only to meet certain
international standards that require technical documentation to be
supplied in the language of the country to which products are exported.

82
The translation process can be time-consuming. Besides, there is
often a risk of misinterpretation. The possible misinterpretations often
derive from ambiguous text. The use of Simplified Technical English as
source text for translation will help to eliminate the possible risk of any
misinterpretations.

Automated translation
As the source text is easier to understand, it also is easier to translate,
especially after a multilingual dictionary has been set up. Additionally,
the level of consistency in terminology that is achieved by writing
in Simplified Technical English, greatly improves the yield from
computer-aided translations. Computer-aided translation makes use
of a translation memory system and thus reduces cost (sometimes
up to 40%!) and processing time. Moreover, it improves the level of
consistency in the translations too.

Depending on the type and scope of the text to be translated and


on the target language, it may even become a feasible option to use
machine translation without the need of extensive checking and post-
editing. The restriction of the general vocabulary (‘one word = one
meaning’), the rules concerning grammar and syntax and the omission
of ambiguities thus provide an important time and quality gain during
translation.

Translation Cost Savings Example


The following example will show cost savings obtained for a manual of
about 300 pages containing approximately 54,000 words that needs to
be translated into several languages.

The difference
Source text: 54,000 words Without STE With STE Difference
Words to be translated: 54,000 45,900 - 15%
Translation memory finds
(perfect matches): 30% 40% + 10%
Words to be translated manually: 37,800 27,540
Translation costs
(approx. € 0.15 per word): € 5.704,32 € 4.210,33 - 27%

83
Translation Cost Savings:
For 1 manual, 1 language € 1.493,99
For 1 manual, 4 languages € 5.975,95
For 1 manual, 12 languages € 17.927,86
For 4 manuals, 4 languages € 23.903,82
For 4 manuals, 12 languages € 71.711,45

Volume reduction
Typically, Simplified Technical English will result in a word count
reduction of 15%. This means that only 45,900 words will have to be
translated, instead of the original 54,000.

Terminology Management, not only for Simplified Technical English


Although unambiguous terminology is an essential part of Simplified
Technical English, managing a company’s terminology is important
beyond the scope of English language documentation alone. How often
does it happen that different people within different departments use
different terms while referring to the same thing?

The introduction of consistent and unambiguous terminology therefore


not only facilitates the use of Simplified Technical English, but also
allows all departments within a company to enjoy benefits, such as:
-improved readability -improved translatability -clear communication,
both internal and external -improved search results (when looking up
terms for example on the Internet, intranet or in databases) to share
their experiences in the field of Simplified Technical English.

Optimum reusability
Thanks to the use of consistent style and terminology the yield of
a translation memory will increase by approximately 10% (perfect
matches) in addition to the 30% that is normally recognized.

Compliance with ASD-STE100, S1000D and ATA iSpec 2200


ASD Simplified Technical English is required for certain platforms in
the aerospace and military industries. In addition, standards such as
S1000D and ATA iSpec 2200 also call for the use of ASD Simplified
Technical English.

Standardised way of writing


Even if you don’t have to comply with ASD-STE100, Simplified Technical
English helps you standardise your technical documentation, which
will lead to greater efficiency, regardless of your industry.

84
Quality Assurance / Quality Control
In addition to Simplified Technical English improving the quality of
your product documentation, HyperSTE provides extensive reports
for validation purposes. HyperSTE has helped our customers improve
their cycle time by 30%!

Improved safety
Clear documentation is essential to ensure the safety of you and your
customer, for instance during the operation of a lift truck or while
performing maintenance on an aircraft engine.

Improved customer experience


As a result of using Simplified Technical English, your product manuals
will be easier to understand by your customers. One of the benefits:
you will receive fewer phone calls from customers with problems.

Reduced time to market


Creating technical documentation more efficiently as a result of using
Simplified Technical English will save time and reduce your time to
market, up to 30%!

Reduced time for maintenance and operation


Maintenance manuals are clear and easier to understand, which saves
time during maintenance and operation.

Efficient authoring
Not only will your technical documentation increase in quality, your
technical writers will also become more efficient and increase their
level of writing skills.

Support for structured authoring standards DITA and S1000D


Simplified Technical English results in optimum reusability of
terminology and sentences, thus facilitating structured authoring
standards like DITA and S1000D.

Support for Content Management


Simplified Technical English enforces the use of clear and unambiguous
terminology with its key principle: one word has one meaning. This will
limit the use of inconsistent terminology that has the same meaning,
facilitating optimum reusability which will not only apply to terms, but
also to phrases and sentences. Simplified Technical English therefore
fully optimises the use of Content Management Systems.

85
Case studies

Case Study - Rolls-Royce North America -


Aircraft, Industrial and Marine Engines

Rolls-Royce North America, located in Indianapolis, is a trusted leader


for land, sea and air power solutions worldwide. Rolls-Royce uses
HyperSTE to ensure compliance of its technical publications with ASD
Simplified Technical English (ASD-STE100).

The challenge
To standardise documentation in compliance with the Simplified
Technical English specification ASD-STE100 to improve quality and
readability of manuals to reduce cycle time.

The solution
Tedopres developed a dictionary containing Rolls-Royce standardised
terminology and trained Rolls-Royce technical writers and editors on
the rules of ASD Simplified Technical English (ASD-STE100) and how to
use the HyperSTE software.

As part of the implementation process, Rolls-Royce uses


the HyperSTE checker software to ensure that all manuals
comply with ASD Simplified Technical English (ASD-STE100),
including the use of standardised and consistent
Rolls-Royce terminology.

The results
Implementing ASD Simplified Technical English and HyperSTE yielded
the following results for Rolls-Royce:
- Compliance with ASD Simplified Technical English (ASD-STE100),
a requirement for aircraft maintenance manuals and component
maintenance manuals.
- Better quality and readability of manuals.
- Reduced cycle time.
- Better reusability of text.
- Standardised terminology and style.

86
Case Study - WatchGuard - Computer Network Security

WatchGuard is an American manufacturer of computer network


security products, and can be considered an early-adopter of
Simplified Technical English in its industry. WatchGuard adapted the
Simplified Technical English standard, and renamed it to WatchGuard
Standardised English (WSE).

The challenge
• To standardise its documentation by using consistent terminology
and a controlled vocabulary.
• To enhance the readability of its manuals, thus improving the quality.
• To reduce localisation costs, as WatchGuard translates its technical
documentation into a number of Asian and European languages.

The solution
Within weeks Tedopres developed a dictionary containing WatchGuard
and industry-specific terminology. Next, training was given to teach
WatchGuard’s technical writers the rules of how to write clear and
concise technical manuals. As part of the implementation process,
WatchGuard uses HyperSTE, our checker software, to ensure that
all manuals comply with Simplified Technical English, including
unambiguous and consistent terminology.

The results
Implementing Simplified Technical English and HyperSTE yielded the
following results for WatchGuard:
• Overall considerably improved quality of the manuals, resulting in
customer satisfaction.
• Volume reduction of 10-30% per manual. The originally projected
word count for a particular manual was estimated at 500,000.
Thanks to the use of Simplified Technical English and HyperSTE the
word count turned out to be 375,000 (25% volume reduction).
• Reusability of text increased to 25%, thanks to the standardisation
of terminology and writing style.
• Translation cost decreased by 40%. The use of a translation memory
normally recognises 30% of the text. Simplified Technical English
not only resulted in less volume to be translated, but increased
the translation memory to 40%. This resulted in an initial saving of
$35,000 for the first manual in Simplified Technical English.

87
Case Study - Elekta - Medical Equipment

Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and


clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders.
Elekta provides intelligent and resource-efficient technologies that
improve, prolong and save patient lives.

The challenge
- To standardise documentation in compliance with corporate style
guide EASE (Elekta Approved Simplified English).
- To improve quality and readability of manuals.
- To save translation cost.

The solution
Tedopres developed the EASE dictionary containing Elekta standardised
terminology and trained Elekta technical
writers in the UK, Sweden and US on the
rules of EASE and how to use the HyperSTE
software. For IMPAC, Tedopres developed the
IMPAC dictionary containing IMPAC specific
terminology which can be used together with the EASE dictionary.
Elekta uses HyperSTE to ensure compliance with EASE.

The results
- Up to 30% in translation cost savings after one year.
- Better quality and readability of manuals.
- Reduced cycle time.
- Overall documentation cost reduced by 20%.
- Better reusability of text in XML environment.
- Standardised terminology and style.

88
Case Study - Electrolux - Household Appliances

Electrolux is a global leader in household appliances and appliances


for professional use, selling more than 40 million products to
customers in more than 150 markets every year. The company
focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on
extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and
professionals.

The challenge
- To standardise terminology and style guide.
- To improve quality and readability of manuals.
- To save translation cost.

The solution
- Tedopres developed the Electrolux
dictionary based on thousands
of pages of content, including
translation memory software.
- Electrolux uses a server based solution for HyperSTE.
- Tedopres trained Electrolux authors worldwide in France, Poland,
Sweden, Germany and Italy.

The results
- Up to 50% in translation cost savings in over 30 languages.
- Better quality and readability of manuals, from 40% to 95%.
- Less phone calls to Customer Service.
- Time to market reduced by 30%.
- Overall documentation cost reduced by 20%.
- Reduction of words by 25%.
- Standardised terminology and style.

89
Experiences from the industry
Below you find reviews about Simplified Technical English in actual
practice. Mr. Richard Wojcik of The Boeing Corporation, Mr. Valery
Strekoz of BETA AIR / Beriev and Ms. Karen Toast Conger of
WatchGuard were kind enough to share their experiences. Both Boeing
and BETA AIR are major players in the aerospace industry, whereas
WatchGuard is active in the ICT business.

Simplified Technical English at Boeing


By Richard Wojcik
Associate Technical Fellow with Boeing Phantom Works

90
After the AECMA SE guideline had become mandatory in the late
1980’s, Boeing Customer Services needed to rewrite its maintenance
manuals for its 737, 747, 757, and 767 commercial aircraft in AECMA
Simplified English, now ASD Simplified Technical English.
We have learned quite a bit about writing Simplified Technical English
documents over the past decade. First of all it is very important to get
good training. It takes about a month for a competent technical writer
to write instructions as quickly as before he started writing in STE.
It can take even longer to master STE in descriptive text. A checker
can help by providing feedback on the mechanical aspects of the STE
standard, thus taking the burden of most routine work away from the
writer. The writer can thus focus on those aspects of technical writing
where his expertise is most needed: content-related knowledge and
creativity aimed at providing the audience with accurate information.
Richard Wojcik

91
Simplified Technical English in Russia
By Valery Strekoz
Head of Tech Pubs with BETA AIR
Head of the Maintenance Division of Beriev Aircraft Company

Traditionally, all technical documentation in the Russian aerospace


industry is written in Russian and translated into English where
necessary. For companies aiming at export, this process is far from
ideal, as the translation takes a lot of time. Moreover, it is often
difficult to combine the important aspects of readability, technical
accuracy and grammatical correctness.

As head of the tech pubs department of BETA AIR, I realised that the
use of ASD Simplified Technical English could be a solution for the
above problems and in addition would prepare us for possible exports
to countries where ASD Simplified Technical English is a requirement.
In early 2002, it was decided to work together with Tedopres for the
implementation of Simplified Technical English within our company
and to write all technical documentation for our Be-200 amphibious
aircraft in Simplified Technical English. BETA AIR thus became the first
Russian company to produce its documentation in Simplified Technical
English.

92
We have now gained a lot of experience and have had very positive
feedback from suppliers, potential customers and certification
institutes regarding the quality and readability of our documentation.

The success of the program caused us to think about similar concepts


for Russian-language documentation. Together with Tedopres (which
has worked on other simplified languages in the past), I started
working on a draft specification and discussed it with professionals
from other Russian companies, who very much welcomed the initiative.

We aim to make Simplified Russian compatible with Simplified


Technical English to facilitate translation between these languages.

Beriev has recently adopted Simplified Russian as a corporate


standard. This decision is supported by AR IAC (the State Civil Aviation
Authority of Russia), the Russian equivalent of the FAA (the Federal
Aviation Administration (US)). We have reason to believe that Simplified
Russian will soon become a nationwide formal reality and that it will
bring the industry many advantages similar to those of Simplified
Technical English.
Valery Strekoz

93
Make it simple
By Karen Toast Conger
Director, Product Training & Publications
WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.

In November 2003, Abbey National, a British investment and banking


firm, published a report charging that over 75% of Britons believe
that “Jargon is used to ‘confuse and deceive”1. Over half felt that use
of industry-specific terminology and acronyms was merely a device
to provide the illusion of expertise. For those of us in Information
Technology, the most disturbing survey result is that we are deemed
second only to lawyers as the worst deceivers.

It should not, however, come as a surprise. The computer revolution


from its inception was the province of a special breed of individual2.
For a long time, the cant of binary, command line interface, and
computer programming languages defined our communication.
Our interactions, dominated by an electronic medium, evolved into an
argot of acronyms, abbreviations, and arcane terminology sprinkled
with inside jokes. Computer professionals speak in emoticons3 and
argue finer points of netiquette. They routinely create new technologies
requiring a concurrent creation of new nouns, verbs, adjectives and
adverbs to accurately describe their behaviour. An entire industry has
evolved to capture terminology and render it accessible to the layman4.

94
However, the widespread adoption of computer technology in every
profession requires that we develop a common, simple language
to describe our products. We must adapt to product globalisation,
recognizing that often the majority of our customers are non-native
speakers of English. In short, we need to create a Simplified Technical
English lexicon for the Information Technology industry.
Fortunately, we possess several advantages over other industries as
we grapple with our own palette of words. First, we are a community
of professionals accustomed to rules about syntax and language.
Programming is the exercise of using an extremely narrow range
of words to describe and control events. Perhaps Hypertext Markup
Language (HTML)5 provides the best example of this. HTML and its
successors use symbols and simple English words to create virtually
all of the variations in display and content you see on the World Wide
Web. Training our interface designers and technical writers to apply
the same degree of discipline and logic to customer-facing projects as
they do to the underlying code is merely a new application of a familiar
skill set.

Another advantage we possess is that we are a relatively new industry.


We do not yet have a lengthy history of intellectual investment in the
words we use. If we start now to clarify our speech and documentation,
we stand a chance of building a common, easily used and easily
understood lexicon. Finally, we are a highly computerized, technically
savvy group. We will adapt quickly to tools used to enforce Simplified
Technical English. The learning curve will be shallow as we adopt new
dictionaries, document storage, and compilation applications.

There are those would argue this exercise is already underway.


Technical writers and user interface (UI) developers, for example, are
routinely referred to the Microsoft Manual of Style6 as the definitive
source for both UI design and terminology usage. The guide itself,
however, is internally inconsistent and routinely falls back on assumed
knowledge of audience training and background.

95
To get there, however, we must first emerge from our self-imposed
mantle of socially inept “geekhood”. The cult of the computer
professional carries baggage in the form of words no one but us can
understand or appreciate. All we lose by discarding our acronyms and
jargon is our ignominious position as deceivers second only to lawyers.
Make it simple.
Karen Toast Conger
1
http://www.abbeynational.com//home/media_centre/media_centre-press_releases/
media_centre-press_releases-archive.htm?startpos=0&id=9555&start=1&end=2&page=1
2
For an excellent history of the early evolution of the computer technology field, see Hackers:
Heroes of the Computer Revolution, S Levy, Penguin Books, 1994: http://www.amazon.
com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0141000511/qid=1080946479/sr=1-1/
ref=sr_1_1/102-0687009-0623340?v=glance&s=books
3
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci212057,00.html
4
See http://www.webopedia.com/ for an example.
5
http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/
6
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0735617465/102-0687009-0623340?v=glance

96
The world a safer place …
Simplified Technical English is a long-term and comprehensive
initiative designed to standardise the way technical publications are
written. It facilitates document structuring by specifications like
DITA and S1000D in a reliable, cost-effective and efficient way, and
facilitates content management through optimum reusability.

In addition, the use of Simplified Technical English


can help you save translation costs of up to 40%
per language. Cheaper translations are one
aspect, but avoiding costs as a result of clear and
unambiguous communication to your customers
can be tremendous. However, it is the overall
result that often convinces companies to switch to
Simplified Technical English: readers understand
what they are reading.

Mr. Language and Ms. Information

97
98
Advanced Technology
for Clear Documentation
Simplified Technical English
3rd edition

PART V
Simplifying the entire information process

Published by Tedopres International B.V., the Netherlands, 2010

99
100
Even though the use of Simplified Technical English has many
advantages, it is only one part of a complete documentation solution.
This chapter discusses all aspects that are involved in the creation
of technical documentation and demonstrates the possibilities of
simplifying other aspects too.

Optimising information processes


To efficiently create technical documentation, the entire information
process needs to be simplified. This would involve optimisation of the
following components:

- Structure
- Illustrations
- Text
- Content management

Nowadays the solutions are


available to optimise the
information process. This
chapter describes how text,
illustrations and content as a
whole can efficiently be created
and managed by making use of
Simplified Technical English, and
Content Management Systems.

101
Structure as a basis
The creation of technical documentation begins with defining the
structure. This often requires a thorough analysis of a company’s
products, services and target groups.

Information creation and reuse


When information is set up in a structured way, it becomes easier to
use and reuse. This is valid for both texts and graphics. In practice,
working in such a structured way means that information is set up
modularly from the start. Information is split up or combined to form
chunks of information that by themselves form logical entities or
modules. These modules combined can form a manual, or at least a
part of it.
Writing a manual would then become a matter of selecting the
appropriate information modules. These can then be edited, extended
or rewritten in order to become fully applicable to the purpose of the
manual.

Structure from the start


In the past, certain standards have been defined that can be used as
a basis for a modular set-up of information. Most of these standards
have been internationally acknowledged by one ore more industries
or official bodies. Sometimes complying with these standards is
mandatory, in other cases they form a solid basis for a structured
information set-up. Depending on your product and industry, S1000D
and DITA are great standards for structured authoring. Simplified
Technical English facilitates both standards as it results in optimum
reusability.

102
Illustrations
Before starting to actually write a manual, the extent to which
illustrations can be used should be analysed. After all, a single picture
can sometimes tell more than a thousand words.

In technical documentation, often a balance needs to be found


between the amount of text and illustrations. Illustrations have certain
advantages over text. Illustrations do not need to be translated and
are very useful in multilingual documentation. On the other hand,
illustrations have their limitations. Illustrations often offer too much
information, which makes them difficult to understand.

Illustrations can be simplified too, they must meet the above


conditions by setting the following objectives:
- Simplify the content.
- Minimise the required paper space.
- Allow reusability.

103
Simplified Technical Illustrations
The basic purpose of a Simplified Technical Illustration is to convey its
information as clearly and comprehensibly as possible to the user of a
manual. This makes not a phenomenon in itself, but rather a technique
for creating technical illustrations. Very much like the method for
writing Simplified Technical English, the technique also follows basic
guidelines, such as:
• Use a fixed point of view.
• Start with one or two basic illustrations.
• Use isometric representation.
• Limit the number of procedures associated with each illustration,
to preferably 3 to 5.
• Mark the objects.
Define the elements of focus in each illustration.
• Use a modular approach for assemblies.
A modular approach makes the illustration suitable for different
product configurations and it facilitates the reuse of certain modules.
• Minimise the level of details.
• Show only the relevant parts.
• Eliminate repeated information.
• Avoid the use of text in the illustrations.
• Use a standard format for all illustrations.
• Create a balance between text and illustrations.

HyperSTI – Simplified Technical Illustration software


Tedopres’ Simplified Technical Illustration (STI) technology is based on
the creation of illustrations in such a way that they can efficiently and
effectively be reused. HyperSTI ensures optimal reuse of illustrations,
by creating illustrations that consist of separate components.
These components are structured using XML and are stored in
a database. From this database, the separate components can be
assembled to form an illustration.

Efficiency
Normally, a technical illustrator has to create many different
illustrations, based upon one single source illustration.
However, by using SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), it is possible to use
a scripting language to switch layers on and off. This allows the use
of only one drawing, containing all variants to the original, without the
need to copy the rest of the illustration numerous times.

104
Illustrations can be changed and configured by a technical author to
show exactly what is needed in the current context. Provided that the
differences between versions are not too complex, it is even possible to
automate the creation of new versions partly or completely.

Text in SVG files is not embedded in the graphic itself, but is stored in
a separate XML file, which can be edited and translated separately.
Any changes to the (translated) text are automatically updated in the
graphic, which makes the process of authoring, editing and translating
easier, faster and cheaper.

Thanks to its many levels of detail, a Simplified Technical Illustration


can be perfectly tailored to any type of application and for different
purposes. By using component illustrations, Simplified Technical
Illustrations can be stored in a database in different configurations.
Each configuration can be linked to related text.

105
The following example shows how various illustrations can be configured
in HyperSTI from one source by selecting the applicable layer.

106
The below example shows how the same technique can also be used to
display different languages in addition to different configurations of an
illustration.

107
Combining Simplified Technical Illustrations and Simplified Technical
English
Most benefits can be obtained when, in addition to a Simplified
Technical Illustration, Simplified Technical English is used to author
the content. In addition, the use of XML allows the content to become
interactive resulting in additional benefits.

Example:

3.2 Copying
3.2.1 Make a copy with the platen glass
1. Open the feeder.
2. Place the original on the
platen glass, vertically (A) or
horizontally (B).
The face must point down.
3. M ake sure that the original is
aligned to the top edge of the
platen glass.
4. Close the feeder.
5. C hange the copying settings if
required.
Refer to §3.2.3.
6. P ress [X]. Ready appears when the
original is copied.
Or: Press [Y] to cancel a job.
7. Open the feeder.
8. Remove the original and the copy.
9. Close the feeder.

108
Benefits Simplified Technical Illustrations

Efficiency in illustration creation


The use of Simplified Technical Illustrations will help save a lot of time
and make the overall process of content creation much more efficient.
This will result in:
- Reduced time to market.
- Reduction in documentation cost.
- Improved customer experience thanks to quality improvement.
- Improved safety.
- More efficient illustrators.
- Facilitates Content Management, DITA, S1000D, and SCORM.

Cost Savings for Translation & Localisation


The translation process for illustrations can be very time-consuming.
With HyperSTI the translation process is kept outside the illustration
as the text is stored in separate XML files. After the text has been
translated the illustrations are updated automatically. There are even
more benefits when illustrations have to be updated because of a
product change. The translation and publication process is often not
affected and can be reused. For new languages only the text needs to
be translated, there is no need to change or edit the illustration itself.

The following example is based on a document with 30 illustrations,


which has to be translated to 1 language.

No. of illustrations Translation Translation Difference


with HyperSTI
1 15 minutes 1 minute -14 minutes
30 7,5 hours 30 minutes - 7 hours

109
Content Management
To obtain maximum benefit from the investment of time and effort
that is put into documentation, a technical writer should be able to
reuse the information as much as possible. Information reuse not only
facilitates the creation of new manuals, it also allows information to be
provided in various forms and to various endusers.

Reuse for various manuals


Documents or elements of documents such as safety instructions and
warranty information can often be reused in multiple manuals.
Reuse of information becomes even easier if the actual product
described is built out of functional modules. To each module of the
product one or more information modules can be linked. A manual
can then be configured much in the same way as the product itself is
configured.

Reuse for various end users


The information in a manual is often consulted by different users, such
as service engineers or helpdesk operators. While a service engineer
may require a paper version of a manual, the helpdesk operator would
prefer an online manual. In addition, the demand for information that
is integrated into software products also increases.

110
This would allow for a scenario in which technical documentation can
be used for firmware that not only signals system errors, but also
instantaneously provides the technician with the necessary information
to correct the errors.

These applications would require a lot of additional work if information


had to be created over and over again for different manuals and
different purposes. Today, a better solution is at hand: information that
can be reused for various manuals and for various endusers.

XML
XML (eXtensible Markup Language) technology makes it possible to
store information in such a way that it can easily be reused. In XML,
content is separated from layout. In this respect, content means
both text and illustrations. Separating content and layout offers the
advantage of creating the content while the actual output format is
determined at
a later stage. Whether the information will be published to paper or on
the Web, provides a solution.

If the information is published to paper, content tables and page


references are generated automatically. Should the information be
published on the Web, hyperlinks would be included instead. As
content and layout are separated, any information can be published
through a stylesheet in XSL (eXtensible Stylesheet Language). Only
then, the definitive layout of the production is determined.

Content Management System (CMS)


After text or illustrations have been created, they are stored as
modules and saved as files in a database. The database is managed
by a Content Management System, which offers insight into which
modules are available and where they are used.

When a writer wants to create a user manual for a certain type of


machine, he only needs to know the features of the product. These
features correspond with certain modules in the Content Management
System. He can then import these modules and the user manual is
generated automatically.

111
The writer then can organise the information in a proper way and
adjust it to meet the specifications. At this point in time, both text and
graphics can be edited or deleted. Once the writers thinks the manual
is ready, it can be published. It is only at this stage that the writer
decides upon the output format. This can still vary from anything like
a paper manual to an electronic help file.

HyperDoc
HyperDoc is a standardized XML-based software application supporting
the creation, management, and publication of your multilingual
product information. HyperDoc’s editing and content management
solutions offer wide-ranging functionality and are used in many areas
and branches of industry, from the creation of marketing material,
product catalogues, technical documentation for engineering and
electronics to the creation of packaging and package inserts in the life
sciences industry and context-sensitive online help for software.

HyperDoc’s solutions range from standardized solutions to freely


configurable systems.

We offer powerful out-of-the-box tools, attractive especially to mid-


sized companies and small editorial offices. Customers profit from the
advantages of HyperDoc and can quickly begin production. Standard
functionality for quality assurance, version and variant management,
and preconfigured templates in line with today’s standards (see below)
ensure a high degree of process safety.

HyperDoc simplifies the translation process. Instead of correcting the


layout during translation, translators can concentrate on the text. The
layout is simply taken from the source language, by this alone saving
up to 50% of translation costs.

HyperDoc is noteworthy for its flexibility, allowing customers to


realize complex projects for company-wide information management.
Standards such as PIM or SPL can be implemented easily, as can
interactive fleet management systems for the automotive industry.
Standardized interfaces to related systems (e.g. for resource planning,
translation management or layout design) allow successive integrations
of HyperDoc into your company’s IT landscape. The new generation of
multilingual information logistics solutions is now available.

112
As shown in this chapter, the entire information process can be
simplified and optimised using Simplified Technical English, Content
Management Systems, and technologies. Doing so results in optimised
quality control, improved customer support and considerable cost
savings. This shows the true power of information.

HyperSTE, HyperSTI and HyperDoc are part of our HyperVision


software suite, which offers the following products:
HyperSTE - Simplified Technical English checker software
HyperDoc - Content Management System
HyperSTI - Simplified Technical Illustrations
HyperTerm - Terminology Management System
HyperSales - Sales Support System
HyperParts - Parts Catalogue System
HyperSIS - Service Information System
HyperVoice - System for Voice Support
HyperTraining - Application for Training

To ensure consistent use of terminology throughout the organization,


Tedopres developed HyperTerm, an online multilingual terminology
information system. HyperTerm allows you to share and manage your
terminology in multiple languages throughout the organisation.

113
114
Advanced Technology
for Clear Documentation
Simplified Technical English
3rd edition

PART VI
Acknowledgements and references

Published by Tedopres International B.V., the Netherlands, 2010

115
116
Tedopres International B.V. would like to express its gratitude to
everyone who supported the authors and producers of this book, with
advice, information, documentation, and illustrative and historical
material.

Register
AEA Association of European Airlines
- the operators of aircraft.
page 52, 53, 55

AECMA/ASD ‘Association Européenne de Constructeurs de Matériel


Aérospatial (European Association of Aerospace
Industries). Later became AeroSpace and Defence
Industries Association of Europe (ASD).
page 10, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 84, 86, 91, 92

AIA The Aerospace Industries Association of America.


page 53 , 55, 123, 127

ATA The Air Transport Association of America.


page 55, 57, 84, 104, 105, 123

BASIC English The second international language:


developed by Ch. K. Ogden.
page 45, 48, 122

Caterpillar Presented the first tracked tractor in 1904 and


published the Caterpillar Fundamental English (CFE) in
1972. Caterpillar Technical English (CTE)
published in 1990.
page 10, 47, 48, 49, 51, 122, 123

Chaucer, The founder of Standard English.


Geoffrey page 35

Checker tool Software that helps a technical writer to check his texts
for compliance with the rules of Simplified Technical
English.
page 68

117
Content A database system that centrally stores information
Management (e.g. text and graphics) modularly so that the modules
System (CMS) can be reused and kept up-to-date.
page 82, 85, 101, 111, 113

Controlled A product-specific and simplified language.


English page 45, 53, 121, 122

Cuneiform A form of writing shaped like spikes (wedges).


The symbols were made by pressing a stylus into soft
clay.
page 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Hieroglyphics The pictorial writing of the Egyptians that developed


Hieroglyphs from icons. Hieroglyphics were complex and were
not decoded until around 1800 by Jean François
Champollion.
page 21, 22, 24

HyperSTE Customisable Simplified English checker that supports


ASD Simplified Technical English and company-specific
‘dialects’ of Simplified English.
page 68, 69, 71, 72, 82, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 113, 126

Icons Small, stylised drawings of everyday objects. Icons have


existed since the beginning of our civilisation.
A few icons together make up a story without text.
page 21, 22, 94

Ideogram An abstract sign that depicts less concrete subjects.


page 19, 26, 30

ILSAM International Language for Service and Maintenance.


page 10, 51, 122

Ogden, Ch. K. Published BASIC English in 1932.


page 45, 46, 48, 122

118
Papyrus A water plant of the Nile. From the kernel of the stems,
the Egyptians made a material on which you could
write.
page 21, 22

Part of speech The grammatical function of a word.


page 44, 56, 66, 67

S1000D AECMA/ASD Specification 1000D International


specification for technical publications, utilising a
Common Source DataBase. In Europe often referred to
as ASD S1000D.
page 57, 82, 84, 85, 97, 102, 109

SGML Standard Generalised Markup Language – an


international standard and often an requirement in
technical documentation.
page ??????

Simplified Developed by ASD to improve the readability of


Technical aircraft maintenance manuals.
English page 7, 10, 12, 13, 40, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 63,
65, 67, 68, 72, 82, 84, 85, 86, 87, 90 ,91, 92, 93, 95, 97,
101, 102, 104, 108, 113, 126

Simplified Developed by Tedopres to create illustrations that


Technical are easy to understand and that facilitate reuse of
Illustrations information.
page 104, 105, 108, 109, 113

Standard The English language in general use.


English page 35, 36, 38

SVG Scalable Vector Graphic – an international standard for


graphics that is used in Simplified Illustrations.
page 104, 105

Text mining The process of finding and analysing all terms that are
used by a company in its technical documentation.
page 63, 64, 65, 67

119
Terminology The basis for the consistent use terminology within
management a company.
page 39, 63, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86,
87, 88, 89, 94, 95, 113

XML Extensible Markup Language – an international


standard for text in technical documentation.
page 57, 70, 82, 88, 104, 105, 108, 109, 111, 112

120
A shorter introduction to English literature
17th edition, Wolters-Noordhoff N.V.
Groningen, the Netherlands

AECMA Simplified English


(AECMA document: PSC-8S-16S98)
A guide for the preparation of aircraft maintenance documentation in
the international aerospace maintenance language.
AECMA, Gulledelle 94 -b.5, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium

Allen, Jeffrey
Different Types of Controlled Languages, TC-Forum magazine, vol.1-99

Atlas van de Bijbel


Luc. H. Grollenberg, 1954, N.V. Uitgeversmaatschappij Elsevier
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Brockmann, Daniel
Controlled Language & Translation Memory Technology, a Perfect
match to Save Translation Cost, TC-Forum magazine, 2/97

Brusaw, C.T.
Dismantling the Tower of Babel, journal of Technical Writing &
Communication, Farmingdale N.Y.

De bakermat van de Bijbel


Drs. J.H. Negenman, ©1986, N. V. Uitgeversmaatschappij Elsevier
Amsterdam/Brussel, D.1968/0199/44

Grote Culturen der Oudheid


Ur, Assur en Babylon, Dr. Helmuth Th. Bossert, Dr. Hartmut Schmokel
Uitgeversmaatschappij Holland, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Journal of Technical Writing & Communication, Charles H Sides


Baywood Publishing Company, Inc. New York

Kirkman, J.
Controlled English avoids multi-translations, February 1978
Using ‘controlled’ language in technical communication, 1992

121
Kirkman, J., Snow, C. and Watson I.
Controlled English in International Technical Documentation,
39th congress of the International Federation for Documentation.
Edinburg, U.K., Sept. 1978

Kirkman, J., Snow, C. and Watson, I.


Controlled English as an Alternative to Multiple Translations,
IEEE Transactions on Professional Communications, Vol. PC-2I, No.4,
December 1978

Ogden, Ch. K. (1889-1957)


BASIC English: International Second Language, a list of 850 words;
BASIC English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar:
Paul Treber & Co., Ltd London, 1930

The ABC of BASIC English,


A simple account, step by step, for learners and teachers: Kegan Paul,
Trench, Trubner, London 1932
Part of the collection of the UCL Library, Manuscripts & Rare Books

Science and Technical Writing


A manual of style, Philip Rubens, Henry Holt and Company, New York
ISBN 0-8050-1831-X

White, E. N.
‘ILSAM - International Language’,
The Communicator of Scientific and Technical Information,
No 23, April 1975

Verbeke, C.A.
Caterpillar Fundamental English, a basic approach for multinational
technical communication in an industry.
Training and Development Journal, February 1973

122
References
Karen Toast Conger
Director, Product Training & Publications WatchGuard Technologies, Inc.
Seattle, USA

John Kirkman Communication Consultancy


Consultant on Technical Communication. Former Director of the
Faculty of Communication Studies at the University of Wales for
Science and Technology, Cardiff; UK
Ramsbury, Marlborough, England

Anton van Klooster


Sales manager, Caterpillar, Geveke Zwaar Materieel B.V.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Frank van der Oord


Customer Services Stork/Fokker Fokker Services B.V.
Nieuw Vennep, the Netherlands

Valery Strekoz
Head of Technical Publications with BETA AIR Head of the Maintenance
Division of Beriev Aircraft Company
Taganrog, Russia

Richard Wojcik
Associate Technical Fellow with Boeing Phantom Works US
Chairperson of the ATA/AIA SETG
Seattle, USA

Jozien ten Zijthof


Language Co-ordinator, Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (KLM)
Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands

123
Company profile
About Tedopres
Tedopres (short for Technical Documentation and Presentation) has
been offering professional technical documentation services since 1974.

We specialise in all assets that come with technical documentation,


including technical translation in over 50 languages, technical
illustrations as well as software development to support the creation,
management and publication of technical documentation.

We have an outstanding reputation of providing our customers with


cost-effective, high-quality service that meets industry-specific
standards.

We provide technical documentation services in the following industries:


Aerospace Office equipment
Defence Medical equipment
Machinery Semiconductor
Electronics Laboratory instruments
Process technology Power tools
Telecommunications Automotive

Because Tedopres focuses on maintaining the quality and accuracy of


documentation, industry leaders including Boeing, Black & Decker,
NACCO Industries, Philips and Siemens trust us to handle their
most complex documentation projects. More than 500 additional
multinational corporations have done the same.

www.tedopres.com
www.simplifiedenglish.net
www.technical-translations.net
www.technical-illustrations.net
www.patent-documentation.com

124
Mission Statement & Vision
Mission statement
Tedopres supports companies in managing all aspects of their
information processes.
We specialise in simplifying information and information processes.
Our professional integrity is based on creativity, efficiency and quality
in achieving customer-specific targets.

Vision
Tedopres’ method of working is based on a thorough vision. A vision
that has been strengthened by many findings and experiences over
the past three decades, a vision that applies to Tedopres’ entire field
of activities. We base our vision on the application of ‘hyperlinking’ in
technical documentation, and accordingly classified our products in
a range called Tedopres HyperVision.

The key principle of Tedopres HyperVision is ‘connectivity’.


By organising information, it becomes interactively manageable and
reusable. All elements are tuned to one another, stored and made
accessible in such a way that all elements can be mutually connected
or disconnected.

By means of systematic text analysis, efficient visualisation techniques


and applied information management techniques, Tedopres makes
technology transferable.

125
Partners & Memberships
Partners
Tedopres is an active member of the Product Support Alliance (PSA),
an international partnership organization for companies that are active
in the field of technical documentation.

It is PSA’s objective to:


• bring together knowledge and experience
• stimulate quality, and
• ensure compliance with international guidelines.

Within the PSA Tedopres cooperates with partners in:


• Europe
• USA
• Russia
• Korea
• Japan

With our international partners we collaborate in the areas of:


• product development
• marketing
• tendering for international projects
• co-production
• knowledge exchange in the field of technology and international
standards.

Technology partners
Tedopres’ HyperSTE software (Simplified Technical English) integrates
seamlessly into a number of authoring applications, including MS
Word, Adobe FrameMaker, Arbortext Epic and XMetal. HyperSTE is
also available as a stand-alone version (HyperSTE Generic) to check
PDF and text files. Consequently, Tedopres established technology
partnerships with the following organizations:
• Microsoft
• Adobe
• JustSystems
• PTC

126
Memberships
Tedopres is member of the following industry associations:
• AIA (Aerospace Industries Association of America),
www.aia-aerospace.org
• CIDM (Centre for Information-Development Management),
www.infomanagementcenter.com
• ISTC (Institute of Scientific & Technical Communicators),
www.istc.org.uk
• LISA (Localisation Industry Standards Association), www.lisa.org
• NIDV (Stichting Nederlandse Industrie voor Defensie en Veiligheid),
www.nidv.nl
• STC (Society for Technical Communication), www.stc.org

127
Offices:
Tedopres International B.V. (headquarters)
P.O. Box 336
5680 AH Best
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0)40 84 84 050
Fax: +31 (0)40 84 84 059

Tedopres International, Inc.


611 West 5th Street, Third Floor
Austin, Texas 78701
USA
Tel.: +1 512 306 8601
Fax: +1 512 306 9320

Tedopres Asia Pte. Ltd.


19 Keppel Road
#03-10 Jit Poh Building
Singapore 089058
Tel.: +65 65154318

Tedopres Japan K.K.


B2139, 21st floor
World Business Garden Marive East
2-6 Nakase, Mihama-ku
Chiba-shi, Chiba-Ken
261-7121 Japan
Tel.: 81-(0)43-297-2589
Fax: 81-(0)43-295-1751

Tedopres also has agents in:


France
Finland
Italy
Korea
Russia
Spain
Sweden

128
For more information, please visit our websites:
www.tedopres.com
www.simplifiedenglish.net
www.technical-translations.net
www.technical-illustrations.net
www.patent-documentation.com

129
Since the origin of our civilisation, language has developed
itself into roughly 6,000 variants, not counting dialects.
Unfortunately, this wide variety has led to misunderstandings,
misinterpretations and calamities in today’s business
communication.

Lack of understanding and incorrect interpretation of


language, sentences or words are common causes. The result
often entails frustration and unnecessary high cost. As a result,
linguists and manufacturers exerted themselves to develop
a single, internationally applicable language. The complete
development process extends over a period that started well
over 70 years ago to the present day.

At this moment a very reliable “basic language” is available:


Simplified Technical English. Having played a leading role in
its industry since 1974, Tedopres International has taken the
initiative to inform the industry about Simplified Technical
English and its benefits.
This book shows that the need for a single international
language is evident. Moreover, this book shows that Simplified
Technical English fulfils this need as it is already being used
successfully throughout the world.

The Power of
Combination
www.tedopres.com
130 © Tedopres International B.V., The Netherlands