Over many years, my customers have mainly been high-tech companies with development or manufacturing facilities in Germany. They have included companies like Siemens AG (Munich and Erlangen), Siemens-Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG (Paderborn), Daimler-Benz (Berlin Research Dept.), Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) and the Deutsche Messe AG, who are responsible for trade fairs in Hannover, including CeBIT. I have also worked for Schering AG in Berlin (pharmaceuticals) and UGS Software (backup software for Unix and Macintosh).
I worked for some years in the field of process automation (Programmable Logic Controllers, PLC/SPS) and Fieldbus, for example for Klöckner-Moeller (Bonn), for the PROFIBUS User Organization (Karlsruhe) and for Trebing & Himstedt (Schwerin and Karlsruhe). Click here to see some examples of my work on their website.
For several years, I translated software and hardware manuals for Alcatel (digital communications and digital telephone exchanges). To improve my knowledge of such systems, I participated in a one-week hands-on training course for systems engineers and learnt how to configure telephone switching equipment using KENOS running on Sun workstations.
Another field of work is documentation for content management systems for web site develoment. I translated extensive documentation for OpenShop and for Corporate Interactive. In the latter case I also translated the entire user interface (on-screen dialogs) using a special tool which edits the resource file of the program sources in C++.
In the field of mechanical engineering, I worked e.g. for Krupp Maschinentechnik (Harburg) translating installation and maintenance manuals for rubber extruder machines used to manufacture care tires.
I have also worked as an engineer in the oil business (Mobil Nigeria) and for various software and hardware development teams such as Immisch Becker & Partner (state-of-the-art communications software & hardware), Corporate Service and CareCom (medical computing).
Customers for authoring
Examples of the customers for whom I currently write manuals are Tecan Software (a suite of programming manuals for medical robotics, ca. 1200 pages), Bertelsmann (user guide, Internet application for use by management) and takwak (unique Android-based navigation device for outdoor fans, ca. 90 pages). All of these manuals are written using FrameMaker, and at Tecan I am also responsible for compiling the HTML Help and to ensure that the layout agrees with the company guidelines.
I have also written manuals for Bombardier (formerly Adtranz/DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems). The texts were mainly operating and repair manuals for train locomotives. For example, part of the train driver's manual for the ALP-46 and ALP-46A railway locomotives (see Wikipedia). So I visited thee Bombardier factory to learn how trains work.This was extremely interesting.
David Long, Hannover * Technical Translator, Author, IT Consultant * Home