Company engineers who have not been trained in this area find it very difficult to forget that they are engineers and to write from the customer's viewpoint. Result? Much technical journalism produced by in-house teams is company focused instead of customer focused.
Without a clear mandate from the client, a translator cannot re-write a document in the target language and change the viewpoint entirely. But (s)he can subtly (or not-so-subtly) reduce the focus on the company or its product engineering and increase that on customer's needs.
3) Change viewpoint (adjectives). When a French naval engineer writes about a ship or other naval topic, (s)he's probably thinking subconsciously about the French Navy. Contrast this with the fact that most readers of the English version will subconsciously be thinking of the large English-language fleets or their own navy. This means that even a very simple adjective like 'big' needs serious thought since what is 'big' relative to the French Navy, is not necessarily so for, say, the US Navy.
4) Personal pronouns: Research confirms that annual reports and similar documents written directly in authentic English contain more first person pronouns (I, my, our) than translations of similar texts from French. ‘Translation by emulation’ thus demands that many sentences be recast with first person pronouns rather than third person pronouns. This research (by Rosie Wells recently and by Vinay & Darbelnet many years before) is backed up by the recommendations of the SEC Plain English Handbook among others.
5) Acronyms: Countless online style guides advise journalists to avoid acronyms and abbreviations wherever possible. I do not believe that this rule should be applied too rigorously to technical journalism, particularly for military readerships. Military personnel live and breathe acronyms to the point where they are often more familiar with an acronym than its long form. The documents that they read use so many acronyms that the text acquires a rhythm of its own that cannot be maintained if one resorts too often to long forms.
More in due course on headings, captions, the USN style guide, transforming unqualified and unconditional claims into conditional claims etc.