Translating text requires great skill, experience and very good knowledge of source and target languages. However, converting the text itself is only a part of the process of creating multilingual brochures. Typesetting is the remaining part…
Brochures and user guide manuals are created in specific software depending on the nature of the document. FrameMaker is often preferred for manuals and for brochures the InDesign is most likely to be used – few years ago Quark was also very popular.
There are several ways of approaching translation of documents designed in these formats. The most cost effective way is to provide the original design file and we can use a Story Collector plug in. This strips the text from the original files and assigns tags to small chunks of the text which are responsible recognising the positioning, font colour, size, and everything else related to the text.
Translators then use software which allows them to work with files created by the Story Collector and once the text is translated and proofread it can be uploaded back to the design file. Thanks to the assigned tags, the text is automatically placed in the appropriate places, with the right fonts, etc. The file only needs a quick review and some small tweaks in order to finish the typesetting. This option is much quicker and more cost effective compared to copying and pasting of the translation from a word document.
There are many other factors worth considering early in the process, for instance fonts. Not many people realise that fonts which work with English language might not support foreign language text. Therefore, it is advised to check font compatibility with your target languages in order to create multilingual brochures using the same fonts throughout all documents.
In addition, some languages, such as Hindi or Arabic for example, are read right to left, so the entire document needs to be flipped vertically in order to accommodate the translated text. Also, the standard versions of InDesign and other software don’t usually support these languages and special Middle-Eastern versions are required.
As one can imagine, quality control is crucial during the typesetting of translated text. Because we cover over 120 languages, we are not able to use artwork staff who speak the required languages. Therefore, we follow a strict process where the typeset text is send to the translator for a final review, which is called a post-DTP check. During this check the translator ensures whether there weren’t any mistakes introduced during the typesetting. Even though our studio team have many years of experience in dealing with foreign text, it is still quite easy to cut a Chinese word in half or lose one of the Polish accent symbols. The post-DTP check ensures the final documents are error free.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you wish to discuss your multilingual typesetting requirments…