Global English is the foreign language that most technical writers need

Learning Global English is more use to most technical writers than learning a Foreign Language. And easier!

Global English for Global Business by Rachel McAlpine

Query from an Indian technical writers yesterday:

Hi all,

Will learning a Foreign Language add any value for a Technical Writer?

Please share your suggestions.


My answer to this trick question:

Hi P.

We believe the most valuable language for a technical writer is Global English. By Global English we mean translatable English. This is easily translated and (oh joy!) likely to be accurately translated.

Why is this so significant? Well, a large proportion of technical documentation gets translated into other languages, as you know. Most translation begins with automatic translation, and all too often, no human translator checks  the results. As a result, your technical documentation may become a horrible mishmash.

Fortunately, with a little learning you can prevent translation disasters and impress your boss.

Global English starts with plain English, after which you double check words, sentences, numbers and layout with non-English speakers in mind. It's kind of fascinating.

Bonus: learning Global English is way easier than learning Mandarin!

Global English for Global Business is a short, straightforward ebook on the topic.  We are also developing a new online course on Writing Translatable English.

Best of luck


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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