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Do installation instructions and warranties need to be provided in more languages than English?

from AWDI and Product Liability Prevention

In our multicultural society, and especially in the construction trades, workers and installers come from many backgrounds. How does a manufacturer deal with providing proper installation instructions and safety/warranty information when more often the users likely speak everything but English?

We’ve all seen the packaged instructions where one column is English, the next is Spanish, the next is French, etc., etc. The litigated answer may surprise, but the best global solution may be offered by IKEA: no written instructions at all. They just use generic people figures (like emoticons, actually) to illustrate the step-by-step for assembling their items — universal and global. The answer is: Pictorial.

At AWDI, when we assembled our 160 manual of Installation Instructions, we structured the manual and our WIXSYS online library, on step-by-step illustrations. We attempted to make a more useful resource than the cumbersome verbiage in ASTM-2112 and other guides. Plus, it makes it far more useful on job sites and links to products in stores. Best part yet? It is universal, and satisfies the multicultural needs of the construction industry, while conforming to norms for product liability. more


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