Desktop publishing (DTP) refers to the process of getting your documents ready for publication either offline or online by taking care of formatting, typography, and images. When your documents are going to be read and used in different languages, multilingual desktop publishing is used. If not done well, your readers are going to see junk characters, overflowing text boxes, misaligned text elements, and so on leading to a very unsatisfactory experience.get quote
Desktop publishing (DTP) refers to the process of getting your documents ready for publication either offline or online by taking care of formatting, typography, and images. When your documents are going to be read and used indifferent languages, multilingual desktop publishing is used. If not done well, your readers are going to see junk characters, overflowing textboxes, misaligned text elements, and so on leading to a very unsatisfactory experience.
In normal use case, the DTP steps can be: a. Earlier, the file preparation for DTP used to take a lot of time and was error-prone. Now-a-days, software programs such as Adobe InDesign, Quark Xpress, and Adobe Illustrator are used to typeset documents and do the final design. Files created with these tools can now be directly imported into computer-aided translation (CAT) tools and made available for translation. Some context can be provided as notes to translator(s) in a separate document. b. The DTP engineers tag the sentences so that it’s easier to know where to break up the text without disrupting it in the design stage. c. The formatting of the page needs to take into account the different fonts and the space that they may take up may vary from the original language fonts. d. If images contain text, it has to be extracted separately, translated, and re-inserted into the image. e. A quality assurance (QA) check needs to be done to make sure no errors have crept in. After this, the document is published in the format desired by the client and handed to the client.
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Multilingual DTP services are required for e-books, PDF files, presentations, brochures or user guides or any other document that needs to be printed in another language.
The digital publishing industry continues to grow as people tend to read online rather than offline. Incompliance with ePub3.0 –the latest standards for e-publishing – multilingual DTP has to take into account various factors such as font formats (for traditional as well as web-based publishing workflows), multimedia, text-to-speech capabilities, metadata support for languages, and accessibility features such as navigation, semantic markup, and dynamic layouts.
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.