Cultural Differences

You need to think globally when you write for an international audience. Conventions that you take for granted in your own language and culture are often different in other parts of the world. Keep in mind the following guidelines when you write for an international audience:

  • Do not use examples that are culturally bound, such as names of places that are unrecognizable to people in other countries.
  • Do not use political or religious references. Make sure that when you give examples, the machine names, login names, and so on are not culturally offensive. Do not use examples from political or religious spheres.
  • Be aware that calendar conventions vary from country to country.
  • Do not use humor. A great joke in one culture can provoke complete bewilderment in another culture.
  • Do not use colloquial language. Everyday sayings are very difficult to translate and are usually meaningless if the translator translates the saying word-for-word. If you use colloquial phrases then the translator has to interpret what you want to say, which can cause ambiguity or inaccuracy.