06 Apr What Is Multilingual Desktop Publishing?
Preparation of Content and Branding:
Every day we consume a lot of content in different formats. We never stop to wonder about the process that goes into creating this content. Every pamphlet, magazine, and the website you see on your devices are made by experts. But if some content is available in more than one language, then that means extra time was needed for its preparation. As internet users, we never think about the fact that websites look the same in different languages despite the variations between tongues. But the people who bring these websites to us have to consider such factors or everything will look messy to users.
Branding is very important in content creation. Every company has a certain style and tone that it wishes to maintain across all of its platforms. Today, you cannot look at red and yellow without thinking of McDonald’s. But colors are only one aspect of branding. Language is just as important in it. Without maintaining a tone, a brand cannot appear the same to its customers. And people do not like a brand if it does not have consistency in its style. This is why companies hire different experts to make sure all of their advertising content look and sound the same everywhere in the world.
What is Multilingual Desktop Publishing?
When a website, brochure, or document has to be translated and localized to make it understandable for the target audience, it must maintain its formatting style. The process of redesigning a document after translation to make it look as close to the original as possible is known as multilingual desktop publishing (DTP). The process involves a lot of different steps. It is nowhere near as easy as it sounds. The less prepared a company is for DTP, the harder it can be to handle.
DTP is a technical service. In it, your linguistic experts will make sure that the final layout of your documents is appealing to a global audience. One aspect of DTP is translation and localization. Your content should not only be translated into another language but also become culturally suitable for your target audience. The other step of the process is to make that content as appealing as possible.
Who Does DTP?
The formatting and designing part of DTP makes people think that it is the job of a graphic designer. But most graphic designers can only copy-paste translations onto your files, which can result in messy images. The linguistic aspects of DTP make it impossible for it to be handled by anyone other than language experts. Although special training is required for fixing formatting, it is something that many linguistic experts undergo to provide quality services to their clients.
When you are looking for an agency to provide you with the translation of your content, you can ask them about DTP too. Once you become certain about the work quality of an agency, you can assign the project to them. However, when it comes to DTP, the client has a lot to do too.
What is Needed for DTP?
If you plan on making your content available globally, you must plan for it right from the start. You cannot expect a linguistic expert to handle DTP if the original document was not designed for a global audience. Along with creating global content, there are also a few things you must provide the experts so they can do their job easily. Provide any auxiliary files you have related to the content like images to the agency. You should also provide them all the transcriptions so they can translate the content easily. Avoid sending PDFs to make the life of your translator easier. They will only be wasting their time on scanned documents. But if you send native files, they can use that extra time to work on your project.
A company must inform the linguistic expert about their brand’s language. If there are any files related to the ideology of the brand that must reflect in the content, they should be sent to the expert so they can do their job accordingly. If you provide all the relevant data to the translator right from the start, they will include the information in their work. But if you inform them of the details later, they will have to redo everything, which will waste both their and your time.
Guidelines for desktop publishing:
There are a few guidelines about DTP that every expert must follow. Here are they:
- Use fonts that can be accepted by every type of audience. If you choose a font that suits only one language, it may not work when you translate the content.
- Figure out how you want to handle some common problems, like the units of temperature. Should you use both Celsius and Fahrenheit and put one inside parentheses? Ask the client if they have any preferences before making a decision.
- Replace screenshots of apps in the source language with those in the target language.
- Save all the separately translated files and send them to the client once the project is finished. They can be useful for the client later.
DTP is a complex process that can only be handled by the right experts. The next time you come across a translated website, you will think of the efforts of linguistic experts who make sure that everything looks smooth to all the visitors. It is their efforts that make everything on the internet look perfect for a global audience.