Last year we introduced the Akvo RSR beginners’ manual, designed to dazzle and guide field and support staff who are learning how to use Really Simple Reporting for the first time. Together with the colourful fold-out version, I also designed a much simpler A4 black and white version. We call it the printer friendly manual – the content/copy is identical but it is suited to be printed on even the most basic black and white printer and is easy to email or download.

Over the last few weeks we got the original English text translated to both French and Spanish. We had the translations done by the team at The Word Gym, after which I had to put them back into the lay-out and then have the translators have another look to check all was good. Sounds simple enough, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

First, we needed to decide whether to describe buttons in English or in French/Spanish. It was a difficult decision to make, as not all buttons in Akvo RSR are translated from English. This means that when you are using RSR in French you will come across both French and English buttons. It would be nice from a consistency point of view to have all buttons in the same language, but since that is not possible in RSR yet, we decided to use the text that is on the actual buttons. So when reading through the French and Spanish manual, you may come across both English and French/Spanish descriptions of buttons, exactly as you would on your screen.

Something else you might not have thought of before is that words and sentences in French and Spanish are often a lot longer than the same text in English. For instance Printer friendly manual becomes Manual listo para imprimirse in Spanish. In a short description like this one it is not really a problem, but if you add up the amount of extra words in a five-page document, you’ll find it gained quite a few words. So one of the things I had to do was to make sure that all the text still fits in the five-page document. By playing a little bit with the margins and the lay-out I managed to get it fitting in a way that we are happy with, without adding any pages or losing any of the graphics.

There’s more work to be done though. In the near future we will also be changing the colourful fold-out version into both French and Spanish, but for now there is the printer friendly version for you to start with. I’d like to thank Akvo RSR product manager Adrian Collier for his help as I worked on this.

We still need to settle on an online home for training materials, where the latest documents are available to view and download. In the meantime, you can download the printer-friendly ones here:

Akvo RSR printer friendly beginners’ manual (English, 1.2MB) – RSR.PFM.EN.V04-13 final.pdf Akvo RSR manuel version imprimable (French, 1.1MB) – RSR.PFM.FR.V04-13 final.pdf Akvo RSR manual listo para imprimirse (Spanish, 1.2MB) – RSR.PFM.ES.V04-13 final.pdf Linda Leunissen is a graphic designer at Akvo, based in London.