When I chose the “Global Content” theme and began recruiting authors, I really wanted an issue that would be different than the traditional rants about internationalization, localization, and translation. Not that those things aren’t important, but there are already many venues for those discussions.
I was really looking for some more unique conversations and some of the more subtle issues that serving our audiences across so many countries, cultures, and communities can raise. As the articles in this issue demonstrate, there are many unique considerations around content that is truly global and inclusive that we, as professional technical communicators, likely do not think about on a regular basis.
I’m the first to admit that global content, while very interesting to me, is not my area of greatest expertise. Luckily, we have an incredible community of experts who generously shared their perspectives on this aspect of content that we all must consider and accommodate as we perform our daily work.
In our first article, Val Swisher reminds us how important it is to have a content strategy—even more important when your content is global! Read “Why You Need a Global Content Strategy” closely to get Val’s best tips for getting started on a global content strategy.
Rahel Bailie describes the world of English from the experience of living in many different English-speaking countries. In “Localising—Or Is That Localizing—Content within a Language,” Rahel raises our consciousness about the differences and issues of communicating across cultural, political, and geographical boundaries within a single language.
Next, CJ Walker enlightens us about the differences across another set of languages—the many sign languages for the Deaf. If you, like many, believe that sign language is universal, CJ provides an overview of signers that will dispel that belief in “Sign Language Is Not Universal.”
Mark Clifford takes a completely different approach to the idea of global content—the perspective of those of us who do, or would like to, work abroad. What do you need to consider when aiming for a new job or assignment in another country? “So you Think You’re Ready to Work Abroad?” will help you avoid the pitfalls.
Savannah DeFreese and Elizabeth Sonewald describe and summarize a breakfast interview with Dr. Kirk St.Amant in “Seeing Worldviews and You-Views.” In the article, Kirk relates many truths of our global age and provides some concepts for communicators to leverage as we try to understand and better communicate with our global audiences.
And, in our online edition, Girish Hasabnis shares a few tips for technical communicators who want to leverage the power of Unicode in “Unicode, a Boon for Authors and Translators.”
I also have four columns for you in this issue:
- In the latest installment of the Ask a Manager column, Kit Brown-Hoekstra and Cindy Currie provide a great list of resources for training on tools and other tech comm topics, and they give their manager perspectives on how to break into the field and find your first job after graduation.
- In Russell Willerton’s Ethics column, he shares an interview with Jared S. Colton and Steve Holmes, authors of Virtue Ethics, and helps us understand how virtual ethics applies to technical communication.
- Ryan Weber turns over his Student Perspectives column to Shaun Marquardt, who discusses the importance of—and shares his top 10 tips for—accessibility.
- And last, but certainly not least, Tom Barker’s Academic Conversation column describes the challenges that professionals face when transitioning to scholarly writing—and he shares the techniques he uses when shepherding workplace professionals into academic and scholarly work.
As always, don’t forget to check out the Society pages! And remember: we include author and columnist email addresses so that you can get in touch. My email address is here, too! We can discuss articles and issues with you online, so we hope that you’ll ask a question or start or join a conversation!
Until next time!
— Andrea L. Ames