Monday, November 23, 2009

Manuel Moscoso - Education of Writing

Writing can be so simple for us, but yet be a bit difficult when you know your work is going to be global. It is easy to sit down and write instructions on how to do something; however, will it be the same if someone from Europe were to read it? Will words you choose come across the same to them, or different?

When writing to a global audience, you need to make sure the words you choose are appropriate to everyone around the world. You have to make sure that the words you use will not offend someone from a different country, so research is a must. Some words that are chosen in English are not the same when translated to a different language, so words have to be chosen wisely.
Using slang is also a “no-no”. This is an example of slang. Not everyone will understand, “You better buy this exciting new item! They’re selling like hot tamales!” Make sure you use REAL terms that everyone can understand.

Speaking of “hot tamales”, humor has to be cut out when speaking to a global audience. Not everyone will understand your jokes, so just say what you have to say without any jokes or humor. Speaking from a personal experience, I tried translating something in English to Spanish and it just came out totally wrong! Therefore, be cautious in how you write things.

Lastly, when using numbers like measurements, clothing sizes, road speed, you have to make sure it’s understandable to all. For example, if someone is a size 6 in jeans, say the inches like 28 size waist plus the cm. Also, try not to shorten things like saying 24/7. Not everyone understands it. Say, “24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

To sum things up:
Choose words carefully
Sentences short/simple
To the point
Replace dialects with literal language
Do not reference pop culture
Avoid humor/sarcasm
Learn universal measurements, dates, and times


Rudick , M, & O'Flahavan, L. (2009). Web writing for the world: five tips on writing for global readers . Retrieved from

Kendall, N. (2009, April 28). Writing for a global audience. Retrieved from


  1. Must have been an awkward situation when you translated something to Spanish. Nice way to finish the blog. I like your "to sum things up" category.

  2. This is a very interesting topic. I really like how you included your own personal experience with translation. I’m sure the story behind that is pretty funny! To make your post even more effective, you could add an image. This would help your post really stand out. Other than that, great blogging!