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Friday, May 18, 2012

9 steps for handling international communication | Roger HB Davies, McLuhan & Davies Communications Inc.

Communicating globally is becoming the norm, but it requires a new set of rules to ensure messages are heard and understood as they're intended. 
So Davis provides guidelines to help you avoid some of the communication traps. Summarized, here they are:
  1. Start off with the premise that the written word is the best option. ...
  2. Ask: Is English their first language? If not, assume that the audience handles English as a second language (ESL), and keep sentences and paragraphs short. Write in the active voice. Do not break any grammatical rules. Write complete sentences ....
  3. Avoid idiomatic expressions, slang, figures of speech.  ...
  4. Do not assume language usage is the same even if English is clearly the audience's first language. ...
  5. Test the information release. ...
  6. Handle any illustrative material sensitively. ...
  7. Decide on which spelling style to use: British, American or Canadian. ... Avoid words like "color/colour," "favour/favor," and any words that end in "ize/ise"; that way you also avoid agonizing discussions on which is right? ...
  8. Once you have opted for a spelling style, stick to it. ... 
  9. Use all e -mail transmissions carefully. ...
Also consider following the principles of plain language (aka plain English). Check Garbl's Plain English Writing Guide. Plain English is an approach to writing that concentrates on the needs of your readers. It helps us write for people who read at all levels of time, interest, education and literacy.


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