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How to become a technical writer – Confessions of a former translator

A former translator, I worked the first seven years of my professional life in the translation industry, in various positions. While I learned a lot from this experience, it also left me, as a writer, frustrated. Translators are chained to their source text and writing the words of others in another language, usually focusing on what their clients want. more ...

tekom impressions part 2: API documentation and the VUKA world

Daniela Herbold and Ulrike Parson write about better API documentation and solutions for innovative human resources management. more ...

Impressions from tcworld 2017

Part 1: Improvisation, fluff hunt, and videos for technical documentation. more ...

My first time at tekom

I got back from Stuttgart last night and it is safe to say that after three days of action-packed presentations, writing an article is not in the realm of possibilities right now as I try to connect one synapse with another. more ...

The parson mug prize draw #4. Congratulations to the winners

In which city was the parson mug photographed, we asked at the beginning of September. more ...

Please find enclosed the actual figures

Since I asked for the current figures, I realize that the author of that line made one of the classic mistakes, also known as false friend. 

And no wonder that one sticks. "Actual" sounds like the German word "aktuell", which translates into "current" or "present".  "Actual", however, means "real" or "exact". So we'd better enclose the current figures. Unless, of course, I am asked to send the actual figures, not an estimate. See note below for information on usage. It remains difficult, my friends.

Usage note: actual / current / present
Actual does not mean current or present. It means "real" or "exact", and is often used in contrast with something that is not seen as real or exact: I need the actual figures, not an estimate. Present means "existing or happening now": How long have you been in your present job? Current also means "existing or happening now", but can suggest that the situation is temporary: The factory cannot continue its current level of production. Actually does not mean "at the present time". Use currently, at present or at the moment instead.

*Source: http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/actual

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