What exactly is DTP and why do I have to pay for it?

What exactly is DTP and why do I have to pay for it?

When it comes to localization, simple translation of content to a specific language market is not enough: it requires localizing the entire package, from text formatting and graphics localization, to image placement. The important process of adjusting the document format to ensure that it is presented neatly and matches the format of the original work, is accomplished through a process called Desktop Publishing (DTP). It is used for desktop or commercial printing, or for electronic distribution, including webpages, e-books, newsletters, slideshows, PDF files and more. At Idea Translations, we can make sure the final translated product looks just like the original document regardless of target language. Through a wide range of graphic design tools including state-of-the-art technology, software, top-notch programmers and graphic designers, we can focus on final translated content that not only conveys the same information accurately but also has the appropriate layout regardless of format.

DTP solutions are classified into 3 different services.

First, file formats that have been created in specialized software (e.g. InDesign, FrameMaker, CorelDRAW etc.) usually need to be converted into a translatable format before the translator can edit the content. This text-extraction process and the post-translation reinsertion of the text is called pre- and post-processing. Then, DTP is required to recreate your document after the translation; this step is referred to as post-translation desktop publishing. When the source document is translated into another language, the layout of the translated text may vary from the original document, and it needs to be adjusted to preserve a professional look and formatting of the file. If the target language uses a different alphabet, it may also be necessary to adapt the font and text size for readability and in order to maintain the impact of the text. Finally, to ensure that the translated text is set and spaced correctly, a native-speaker translator will check the document through a final proof, before the final delivery.

In the majority of the translation projects we work in at Idea Translations, DTP is a required component, and having in-house DTP specialists is a great advantage that helps with the efficiency, speed and high quality of our DTP solutions. However, along the years we have found some challenges in DTP translations; here are some examples and how to overcome them.

  1. Sometimes font style choices may differ between languages. In fact, chances of finding one single font that supports European languages, Asian writing systems and scripts like Arabic are very slim. We have worked with projects in which the original language is English, where there are many fonts to choose from, but then the chosen font was not suitable for the target languages. There are also other variables to take into account, such as accented characters, letters, or the entire writing systems, which can be unsupported in the chosen fonts. For us, a solution has been choosing a combination of fonts in concert with the client, if his list of target languages is diverse.
  2. Text Length. Languages come as they are, we cannot change them. Our translators will do their best to find suitable terms for your translation; nevertheless you cannot help it if text shrinks or expands. Words and sentences also change in length when they change languages and suddenly the structure of a document may fall apart upon translation. This specific challenge is evident in documents where text length, font, size, spacing and other design choices have been carefully considered. Adjusting the spaces for text, so the translation can fit within the allocated space without leaving plenty of blank spaces or allowing text to be overcrowded in such a way that it cannot be easily read.
  3. Layout changes. With text expansion, original layout no longer works. This makes consistency across multiple languages a challenge, which can be especially problematic for advertising campaigns and other marketing materials.
  4. Localizing graphics. If the original document has graphic elements, these may need to be localized for regional audiences. Our translation team is able to identify whether the images and colors used in the translated file will be culturally appropriate to the target local interpretations. If your entire design is based around visual themes that cannot translate, then the whole approach needs a rethink.
  5. Sometimes there is no way to capture the same meaning in another language. It could be because the original is too complex or because the source and target language are too distant. In this case, we just have to be creative and deal with it from a different perspective.

Thanks to our DTP team, we can offer translation of many file formats including • Adobe InDesign • FrameMaker • Illustrator • Photoshop • QuarkXpress • Articulate • AutoCad • MS Publisher and many more. All of our DTP processes are ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 17100 certified. Our DTP solutions can help you publish documents in every target language you need, by working along the process of creation with you.


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