Avoid using the construction and/or because it is ambiguous in English and does not exist in other languages.
Example: When you say Close and/or lock the door, the translators have to choose among the following possible phrases:
The translated information will be more technically accurate if you make the choice yourself. Usually it is better to say or to indicate that it is not necessary to do both. In most situations, it is obvious that you could do both.
Avoid this format even when space is a problem (such as, in messages, headings, captions, tables, or art callouts). Other languages form the plural of a noun in many different ways. Include in your sentence either the singular form, the plural form, or both forms.
The apostrophe and the single quotation mark are not usually differentiated in data processing environments, and are not readily distinguishable on many presentation devices. In general English usage, however, the apostrophe indicates contractions (for example, we're for we are), or shows possession (for example, John's car). The single quotation mark is a string delimiter, for example, 'This is a message.'
Need assistance with your globalization questions?
- Guidelines quick reference
- A: User interface
- B: Writing for an international audience
- C: Respect for culture and conventions
- D: Product structure in a globalized environment
- E: Input and output interfaces
- F: Coded character sets
- G: Introducing Asian ideographic scripts
- H: Languages with a bidirectional script
- I: The cursive Arabic script