How Does Translation Impact Desktop Publishing?
In the translation business, desktop publishing is the art of typesetting translated files to resemble the original document as closely as possible, mimicking design, format, and even fonts.
There are several ways DTP can be impacted by the process for localisation. Below, we’ll attempt to explore just a few.
Longer words mean extra space
The translation of Danube steamship company captain in German is Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän, which is the longest German word recorded. Not only is this word 15 letters more than the original, passing the 55% expansion mark, but it is also just one word. Expansions like this require the initial typesetter to allow for extra space in text boxes in their design, so that the translated text can adopt the same text size, and readability and design are not impacted.
Not all languages read left to right
Arabic, Hebrew, Pashto, Farsi, and several other Middle Eastern languages go right to left, as opposed to almost all other languages. That presents a complex challenge. First, is the necessity to reverse the direction of the file, and the order of pages in each spread. Then there are the images, and the everlasting debate on whether images should be reversed as well. Most of the time, images do not have to be reversed; however, when the images get in the way of the reversed design, or simply no longer work, the initial designer will need to be contacted to provide alternative images for the problematic spots.
The impact of imagery
Another potential challenge that involves images could be the culture and race of the community receiving the translated document – the images must be respectful and reflective of the particular culture. Often, designers will use generic images that can work for everybody, but sometimes images create conflict that can only be avoided by replacing them with culturally appropriate ones.
Computer aided translation tools
One positive impact is the usage of CAT (Computer Aided Translation) tools, which make multilingual DTP much easier than before.
Traditionally, a translation would be carried out first, then inserted into the typesetting software where styles were applied to it manually to match the original text formats.
Thanks to advances in technology, you can now simply add your native-text typeset file into the CAT tool, where text can be translated, reviewed and quality assured, then exported out and just tidied up, as the styles have already been applied to their corresponding translated text. While for some languages, fonts will have to be changed, most of the typesetting hard work will have already been done. This means that the DTP process can take much less time and effort, and the documents can reach their end recipient much sooner.
At Language Connect, we have a dedicated DTP team to ensure that your translations not only read well, but also look their best online. Get in touch today to see how we can support your business.