Translating a user manual or a marketing collateral piece into the target language does not mean that the product is ready to serve the market. It’s only the half challenge, and then comes the Desktop Publishing, a last phase of any localization project. A simple “Copy and Paste” of design will not do it right. Desktop Publishing in multiple languages can be very challenging in regards of using right software, platform, and adept DTP personnel. It may require necessary guidelines and right process to be adopted when designing documents are intended for localization.
As a Multilingual Desktop Service Provider, Webdunia has developed a comprehensive DTP process from pre-processing the document to post-processing and quality checks for the best results. Furthermore, Our DTP specialists work in all formats and platforms and are skilled in multilingual publishing.
Understanding the Process
Multilingual Desktop Publishing comprises of 6 major steps, these are:
• Extraction of source language text for translation in a translatable format that is readable to translators e.g., Word, RTF, or TXT format.
• Localization of source language text into the desired target language
• Insertion of translated text into the target language version of the document
• Adjusting and formatting of localized text to match the original; complying with target-language standards. Features like hyphenation, punctuation, page breaking, adjustment of text elements for complete display, table of content and index may need to be generated. Also, if there are hyperlinks and inline images, they may have to be restored.
• DTP quality assurance checks
• Generation of PostScript and PDF files for online and print publication
For the successful completion of the DTP process there are some essential rules and guidelines which take under close consideration followed to avoid many problems. These guidelines are especially crucial if the same source document will be translated into multiple target languages. The adjustment of the source document layout may become an imperative to keep costs and lead time down.
• DTP translation from English to any other foreign language take up 30% more space, so the page layout needs to have adequate white space for increasing or decreasing text lengths. It’ll help DTP experts to maintain consistency in font size, characters, and line spacing. Also, allows them to add new pages if require.
• Use of style sheet and paragraph style helps a foreign typesetter to keep layout and position of text and images consistent across the document.
• It is advisable to use simple fonts that can support all the characters of the target language; adopting fancy font families may replace characters that will further cause text inaccuracy. Maximum use of OpenType fonts reduces the cross-platform conversion issues.
• Share all the necessary source files including fonts, graphs, charts, which are used to create the original document. If layers with text and images are used to create unique effects, it is crucial to provide native files in an editable format in order to well-develop the document in the target language.
• Design of the document should be kept simple and light weight. High resolution images may give a great visual deal to a document but heavy load of images can present big challenges in the DTP process and make it more lengthy and expensive.
• Not all icons and images are understood in the same way by readers from different countries, cultures, and languages. Images, symbols, gestures, and colors should be wisely selected while creating the document to ensure that they are not inappropriate or offensive to your global readers. For instances: “red color” is associated with both love and war; “thumbs-up” gestures is usually apprehend as “well-done” but in some countries it may be constructed as an inflammatory insult.