Technical Translation from English into Russian in Computer and Telecommunication Industries
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Translation of user interface

For English word "cheese" there are two different Russian words: сыр (as cheese in pizza) and творог (cottage cheese, white cheese), so many novice translators write in Russian "cheese pie" (сырный пирог) for cheesecake instead of "cottage cheese pudding". But anyone who has tasted a cheesecake translates this word into Russian correctly. To first, last and all the time understand translation of terms of user interface (UI), it is necessary for us to taste it, i.e. to quite understand meaning of the English terms that name objects and operations of the user interface, in all variety and heterogeneity.

First of all, we will try to understand the technical principles of terminology of the user interface, then we will examine a linguistic concepts for terminology in this area, and further we will describe the terms individually, but we will not analyze the terms used in specific software products - we will analyze a recommendations according to which the technical writers use the terminology in their work.

We limit the area of the analysis to operational systems (OS) only, because OSs are most complex software products developed by professionals (including professional technical writers, instead of amateurs authors). As a base material, we will use Style Guide manuals from the companies, which are developing the operational systems:
  1. Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications, Microsoft Corporation Editorial Style Board. 3rd edition
  2. Microsoft Computer Dictionary, Fourth Edition
  3. Apple Publications Style Guide (January 2006)
  4. OpenSolaris Style Guide, (Winter 2005), Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  5. Documentation Style Guide for OpenSolaris (Winter 2005), Sun Microsystems, Inc.
  6. The User Manual Manual by Michael Bremer
  7. Read Me First! A Style Guide for the Computer Industry, Sun Technical Publishing

The Linux OSs are absent in this list, because there are no Style Guide manuals for this operational system and, the most important, there are no common principles for documentation development, and no uniform terminology for this operational environment.

Besides this, all known to me translational agencies in all cases recommend to use Microsoft terminology when there are no direct customer instructions, therefore we shall pay close attention to this company.

Technical foundations of the User Interface