Learning Global English is more use to most technical writers than learning a Foreign Language. And easier!
Query from an Indian technical writers yesterday:
Will learning a Foreign Language add any value for a Technical Writer?
Please share your suggestions.
My answer to this trick question:
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