Desktop Publishing Translation

Desktop publishing or DTP is when a graphic designer uses a programme to create print, or electronic ready layouts for materials such as promotional items, trade show stands, package designs and outdoor signs. The most common of these is InDesign. When we speak about desktop publishing and translation, or multilingual desktop publishing, this refers to layout services post translation. It’s the process of ensuring the layout and readability of your materials look the same and professional in every language in the end format that you require.

Why is it important? Languages use different numbers of words to say the same thing. Some languages expand by significant amounts (up to 30% for languages such as French, Spanish & German), whereas other languages may contract (Scandinavian languages and some Asian languages). Characters and letters are different shapes and can use more or less space depending on your chosen language. Also some fonts that work in English may not support certain characters and accents in other languages. As such, well-thought-out designs in your English copy can be disrupted during the translation process, which is why it’s pivotal you invest in a language and Desktop Publishing specialist who will adjust the designs in subtle ways to obtain the look you require.

At Anglia Translations Ltd, we work with various specialist DTP partners to ensure your documents and brochures provide maximum impact in any language. We predominantly work with InDesign but if you use other software programs, I am sure we can help.

What to consider

When translating documents or marketing collateral, it’s important to ensure the fonts, layout and message remain intact and as intended.

Desktop publishing translation involves typesetting, graphics, website layouts among other things. When creating materials for other countries and in different languages it’s important to consider the following:

Text Length – The length of the text you’re translating may affect the layout of your documents. For example, German translations can be up to 30% longer.
The solution: Resize text and surrounding elements to fit.

Fonts – When creating your branding guidelines, be aware that some fonts may not support all the accented characters, letters or entire writing styles used in different languages you want to translate into.
The solution: Speak to our project managers who’ll help determine which fonts can be used and update your brand guidelines accordingly to ensure consistency.

Line spacing – Asian languages, including Japanese and Korean use less vertical space than Latin characters.
The solution:  Consider this at the point of creating the original document. Alternatively, we can adjust the line separations during the DTP translation phase.

Overall layout – Depending on your chosen language, you may need to consider how your audience will read your documents. Usually we put emphasis on particular words and images to the left of the page as we write from left to write and therefore that’s where our eye is drawn to. However, languages such as Arabic and Hebrew are written from right-to-left and therefore require completely different page layouts.
The solution: Consider cultural differences and images that will resonate with each audience, along with whether the layout be flipped horizontally. We can then work with you to adjust the layout accordingly.

Other elements we assist with include:

  • Numerical formats
  • Punctuation formats
  • Orthography and capitalisation of letters
  • Graphical elements including colours, icons and images

The DTP can have a drastic effect on your final project, which is why we work closely with our DTP partner to ensure a positive impression of your company, products and services.

We can accept most files – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, InDesign, Quark, eps.

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