The importance of page layout
Page layout is a very important step in the translation process.
When translating text, one not only needs to ensure that the content accurately reflects the meaning of the original text, based on the two languages involved, industry sector, or theme to which it belongs, but one must also consider the composition of the text based on the format and design of the document in which it appears, with its own typography, margins, or other graphical elements such as images, infographics, or tables with figures.
If the translation is longer than the original text, it may not fit into the original document. At that point, a translation agency has several options: change the translation so that the content fits the layout, change the layout so that it can fit the text, or both.
Cultures Connection provides professional page layout (often called DTP for Desktop Publishing) to provide clear and precise translations that accurately mirror the source documents.
What is page layout (DTP)?
Page layout consists of using digital graphical design tools to arrange a translation text so that the final result is perfectly adapted to the type of document presented to the end users or readers.
DTP work is based on the client’s requirements, with the goal of creating a final document that follows the specifications of the source documents and faithfully reflects a company’s identity.
Proper page layout comes with a number of linguistic, visual and cultural challenges that go far beyond simply substituting words in one language for words in another.
1. Linguistic challenges
Each language has its own system of writing with its own characteristics which the page layout must take into account. Romance languages such as French, Spanish and Italian, can require up to 30% more words than English to express the same content, while Anglo-Saxon languages such as German or Dutch can replace whole phrases with a single longer word. Characters or alphabets from certain oriental languages such as Japanese, Chinese or Arabic, are taller than western languages and require more vertical space. A document’s translation and design must adapt to these spatial considerations with changes in page margins, line spacing, and other layout measures which the DTP service deems appropriate to the document.
2. Visual challenges
Most documents to be translated require graphical touch-ups. These can include graphical elements which have embedded low-resolution text, or text that is difficult to extract for translation and visual layout. Sometimes the reproduction of the text must abide by certain spacing pauses for PowerPoint presentations, websites, or social networks. Clients may not have the source files of a particular document needed to be able to fit the translated text into the correct spaces. A solid understanding of translation and page design software and techniques is essential to resolving these issues.
3. Cultural challenges
Page layout goes hand in hand with localisation, since certain document characteristics will vary from one culture to another. While some oriental languages are read from left to right, Japanese, Arabic and others are the opposite, which means that the position of the text and images must be reversed. Photos, symbols or colours which can be misinterpreted by the readers due to cultural differences should be replaced by others. Just as translation services entails much more than simply replacing words, page layout plays a critical role in such work.
Translate from any file format
From business documents in Microsoft Office formats, to promotional materials using Adobe InDesign or other page layout programmes, to HTML content for websites and mobile devices, Cultures Connection has the necessary versatility to translate your content from a wide variety of file formats. If you have a document that’s hard to translate, we’re here to help!
- .doc, .docx, .dot, .dotx, .docm, .dotm, .rtf, .ppt, .pptx, .pot, .potx, .pptm, .potm, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltx, .xlsm, .xltm, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, .htm, .html, .idml (.indd), .icml, .mif (version 8 and above only), .psd, .svg, .ttx (pre-segmented),
- .sdlxliﬀ, .xml, .xhtm, .xhtml, Android .xml, .xliﬀ (1.2),.xliﬀ (2.0), .xliﬀ for WordPress, mqxliﬀ (MemoQ xliﬀ), tmx, .dita,
- .ditamap, .md, .markdown, .pdf, .catkeys, .csv, (Magento).csv, DocBook (.dbk), .desktop, (Mozilla).DTD, .epub, (Joomla).ini, .json, .lang, .Plist, .po, .properties, (Java).properties, .rc, .resx,
- .srt, .strings, .sbv, .sub (SubViewer only), .ts,
- .txt, .vtt, .wiki, .yaml, .tag, .xtg, .zip
Experience with translation software
It’s important to be knowledgeable of digital software tools that can be used to handle a wide range of document formats. Our team at Cultures Connection uses a variety of computer aided translation (CAT) tools to ensure accurate, precise and clear translations that meet our clients’ requirements.
We also use project management systems that streamline the translation process from start to finish, from task assignment to various professionals, through project follow up and onto its conclusion. These tools also allow us to exchange documents with our clients easily and quickly, and in such a way that they can comment on the project and make changes while work is still ongoing.
Our glossaries and translation memories (record of terminology used) used for our terminology, punctuation, spelling and grammar checks, ensures that the final text is consistent, and allows us to provide clients with savings through discounts on repeated phrases.
Our experience in the industry and the strength of our technological tools allow us to provide translation services of the highest quality.