Technical communication for migrant illiterates

Soraya BEKKOUCHE, Léa BUTEL, Lucie PETIT

Paris Diderot University, July 20th 2018

Abstract

International migration has existed throughout human history, but has
taken a new weight in today’s world with the impact of globalisation and
what is often referred to as the “refugee crisis”. The aim of this paper is
not to discuss the motives or the impact of migration but to observe how
language and literacy barriers compound the difficulties met by vulnerable
populations in modern information-oriented societies, and how these
issues are addressed by the many organizations that fight to improve the
situation of migrants.
Here, we address how barriers to information access worsen refugees’
situations and identify technical-communication-related issues in how
information is delivered as of today. Is there a case for technical
communication in ensuring the respect of human rights?

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Technical communication: a two-sided coin?

Koussai HOUSSINE, Laetitia NALY, Axel PETIT
Paris Diderot University, July 2017

Abstract

Technical communicators like to perceive themselves as go-betweens who use language to bring tech objects closer to the general public. Still, is technical communication (abbr. TC throughout the article) really a two-sided coin that bridges the gap between the humanities and science, the “two cultures” in Charles Percy Snow’s terms?
The aim of this paper is twofold: testing the assumption that makes technical communicators middlemen between the two cultures, and to do so, defining the features of the language of TC by general linguistic standards. A sharp analysis of the language of technical communication provides many interesting clues to define its identity.
First, a short history of technical communication since World War II helps us understand how the language of technical communication changed with economic, social and political contexts. Second, we sketch a definition of human language in order to set an accurate theoretical frame and to define the features of the language of technical communication. Third, the discussion of a series of tests completes the qualitative analyses of the first two parts. It provides evidence to support the conclusion of this paper.

Read the full article: Technical communication: a two-sided coin?