When a document needs to be published in multiple languages, font changes and text orientation can inevitably cause issues, and so set the expectations and understanding as something may need to be done differently in multilingual DTP, as different languages pose different challenges. The common challenges are: a. Orientation: For languages with right-to-left orientation such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Hebrew, it’s not just the text that is to be aligned right, but other elements in the page such as numbered and bulleted lists, graphics, and icons. b. Special characters or compound words: For example, Turkish may have special characters and Thai may have very long compound words, which are difficult to use or break up. With Indian languages, one must be have access and familiar to different typefaces and font families. So, a balance has to be struck between preserving formatting and not distorting the meaning. c. Text expansion: The other challenge in DTP localization is text expansion. Some languages such as German may take up 30% more space to use words that convey the same meaning as in the original. This also ends up in creating more pages than in the original document.
You must set up style sheets in advance with your LSP partner that can be used consistently to avoid different fonts, font sizes, and other styles being used over a period of time in documents your company produces. Even if you work with different DTP companies, style sheets can help maintain consistency.