RISK-ASSESSMENT FOR STYLISTIC PROBLEMS IN WRITING AND TRANSLATING TECHNICAL TEXTS

Nadia-Nicoleta Morărasu, Luminița Drugă

Abstract


In adjusting the terminology and methodology of risk-assessment to
linguistic studies, we propose the identification of the hazards implied by the
excessive usage of technical jargon, before we take a decision on how and to
whom it may cause harm. Jargon represents the technical or secret
vocabulary used by specialists belonging to a particular field of activity
(science, art, literature, technology, etc.) and it may have an unintelligible
character for non-specialists. Our choice of instruction manuals for
household or electronic devices as potential hazards to users is motivated by
personal observations on the faulty style of Romanian versions of
instructions originally written in English. Bringing them up not only to
technical, but also to stylistic standards, which implies a clear, concise and
accessible style, would result in their fulfilling their practical purpose more
effectively.
The next step in our research involves evaluating specific risks and
proposing some precaution measures. Technical specialists consider that
coping with formality scales in technical writing represents a very
challenging experience. Based on style manuals and specialist-oriented
guidelines for good technical writing, we intend to assess the risks of
adopting either an ultraformal and very stiff style or idiomatic and informal
forms of expression, deemed as being unprofessional.

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