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Negotiating Cultural Encounters: Narrating Intercultural Engineering and Technical Communication

Negotiating Cultural Encounters: Narrating Intercultural Engineering and Technical Communication

Han Yu (Editor), Gerald Savage (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-50487-1

May 2013, Wiley-IEEE Press

280 pages


Discusses the challenges of intercultural communication in engineering, technical, and related professional fields

Given today's globalized technical and engineering environment, intercultural communication is an essential topic for engineers, other technical professionals, and technical communicators to learn. Engineering programs, in particular, need to think about how to address the ABET requirement for students to develop global competence and communication skills. This book will help readers learn what intercultural communication is like in the workplace—which is an important first step in gaining intercultural competence.

Through narratives based on the real experiences of working professionals, Negotiating Cultural Encounters: Narrating Intercultural Engineering and Technical Communication covers a range of design, development, research, and documentation projects—offering an authentic picture of today's international workplace. Narrative contributors present firsthand experience and perspectives on the complexities and challenges of working with multicultural team members, international vendors, and diverse customers; additional suggested readings and discussion questions provide students with information on relevant cultural factors and invite them to think deeply and critically about the narratives.

This collection of narratives:

  • Responds to the need for updated firsthand information in intercultural communication and will help us prepare workplace professionals
  • Covers various topics such as designing e-commerce websites, localizing technical documentation, and translating workplace safety materials
  • Provides hands-on studies of intercultural professional communication in the workplace
  • Is targeted toward institutions that train engineers for technical communication tasks in diverse sociocultural environments
  • Presents contributions from a diverse group of professionals
  • Recommends additional material for further pursuit

A book unlike any other in its field, Negotiating Cultural Encounters is ideal for all engineering and technical communication professionals seeking to better communicate their ideas and thoughts in the multicultural workplaces of the world.

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Preface xi

A Note from the Series Editor xiii

Han Yu and Gerald Savage

CHAPTER 1 Changing Times, Changing Style Guides 17
Jennifer O'Neill

CHAPTER 2 Concinnity of Assorted Nuts 41
Marina Lin

CHAPTER 3 Learning Curve 61
Vaishnavi Thogttluva Vijayaram

CHAPTER 4 Lost in Translation 81
Elena Groznaya

CHAPTER 5 Collective Learning in East Africa: Building and Transferring Technical Knowledge in Livestock Production 103
K. Alex Ilyasova and Cheryl Birkelo

CHAPTER 6 That's Worth Waiting For: GLDD's Spanish JSA Booklet 123
Christina Schulz

CHAPTER 7 Making Excellence a Habit across Intercultural Barriers 143
Saurabh Kudesia

CHAPTER 8 Crash of Cultures 167
Sam Racine

CHAPTER 9 Collaboration on a Pan-European Project Spanning 35 National Research and Education Networks across the European Union 185
Warren Singer

CHAPTER 10 Are Chinese Documents Ready for Global Audiences? 209
Melanie G. Flanders

CHAPTER 11 Subject Matter Expert Meets Technical Communicator: Stories of Mestiza Consciousness in the Automotive Industry 227
Angela M. Haas

CHAPTER 12 My Life as an EFL Trainer/Technical Translator in Shanghai, China 247
Huiling Ding

Index 263

“The book may be interesting for those already working in the field of technical communication, but would be perhaps more useful to students or to those preparing to become professionals dealing with textual (including graphical) material of various kinds.”  (Computing Reviews, 8 September 2014)