in reply to PBP in German out of print - solutions?
My colleagues do speak some kind of English but I don't want to accept the loss of productivity here.
That's why I prefer the original over a translated version. I've never read a translated version of PBP, so I can't judge the quality of the translation. But I've read a sufficient ammount of other technical documentation to know that a lossless translation is very rare, and really good translations are almost as rare.
To make things worse, translations take time. Having a good translation available that is as up-to-date as the original, and is released at the same time, is rare.
Translators add errors, like any author does, that's inevitable. But then, they also add errors because they don't understand all of the fine details. See below for an example.
Technical terms are pandora's box for translators. You can do only wrong. If you translate, and have to invent a new word, or reuse an existing word that did not have that meaning before, experts will have a hard time understanding what you mean. If you keep the technical term, only experts will understand you.
My favorite mis-translation is from the german MS-DOS 4.01 manual, in the chapter for DRIVER.SYS. DRIVER.SYS supports "exotic" floppy drives, and it accepts a /C parameter.
The german translation consists of some unreadable garbage mentioning "Zeilenwechseloption". "Zeilenwechsel" is something associated with type writers or impact printers, the manual or automatic transition ("wechsel") from one row ("Zeile") of text to the next. Carriage return plus line feed. "Option" is used very similar to the english "option", something optional, that you can order for extra money.
How does that fit to a floppy drive?
Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)