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If I use deepl to translate from my native language to english, I get this: "the documentation is thin".

But I am unsure if thin is the matching term.

How to call documentation which covers only 20% and 80% are missing?

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I would use the word sparse:

[Merriam-Webster]
: of few and scattered elements
especially : not thickly grown or settled

Note that the especially part of the definition refers to the use of the word in the context of geography (such as countryside). In the context of documentation, or any production of labour, you can ignore that sense—unless you want to consider it metaphorically.


An alternative is minimal, depending on exactly what you're trying to convey. But unless what is written is enough to get by, it sounds to me like 20% isn't actually sufficient.

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  • Jason suggested sparse, not spare. Apr 23, 2020 at 8:17
  • Thank you! Yes, "sparse" fits. I think "minimal" is something different. For me "minimal" is a positive adjective: All redundancy was removed. (@KateBunting I deleted/recreated my old comment)
    – guettli
    Apr 24, 2020 at 12:35
  • I accepted this answer. Nevertheless alternatives are welcome. Just create a second answer. Thank youi.
    – guettli
    Apr 24, 2020 at 12:37

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