LanguageLine Desktop Publishing DTP

Translation and localization does not always end with the rendering of one language to another. Desktop Publishing (DTP) is frequently an integral part of the translation or localization process.

The purpose of DTP is to render a translation that mirrors the source content exactly how it was created by the client. From typesetting to graphic placement, many projects need slight adjustments to ensure the text fits to get the look and feel to be as close to the source content as possible.

Translated text will often have a different sentence structure and length when compared to the original. German, for example, can expand by up to 8 percent longer when translated from English. Arabic is written right-to-left. Therefore, translations from Arabic require modifications to the entire layout.

These changes are only needed if clients don’t plan ahead for translation and didn’t leave enough white space in their source document to accommodate the expansion. Whenever these situations arise, DTP works its magic to make translations “fit.”

How DTP Works

Here’s an example of DTP in action:

A hospital creates brochures to explain its services to its patients. Once this content is translated, if there isn’t enough white space, the text layout might need to be reformatted depending on the language and text expansion.

This could mean changing font, text size, margins, space between lines, etc. Relying on your own internal resources to complete this process might inadvertently introduce errors to the brochure.

By working with a language services provider like LanguageLine® that has a dedicated DTP team, clients save time and ensure the deliverable matches the original document exactly.

The DTP Process

Translators will work on the copy by means of Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. This tool allows the linguist to focus solely on the text, ensuring quality in the translation and consistency in the terminology.

DTP falls near the implementation part of the project-management process. After a translation is complete, the project goes to the DTP specialist. The DTP specialist will import the translated text and make any corrections needed to make the translated file match the source file. The goal is to mirror the formatting of the original document, while accommodating any text expansion or contraction.

Upon DTP completion, a different linguist performs a post-layout review to ensure no errors were introduced in DTP. They check for typos, flag incorrect line breaks, and note unnecessarily truncated text. DTP specialists make corrections and then export a final version.

The Benefits of DTP

In-house DTP teams like the one at LanguageLine are a great benefit because they add an extra layer of quality assurance in the translation process. DTP specialists are well-versed in design so that linguists can devote their full attention to translating and localizing with the utmost accuracy. 

Additionally, DTP often speeds up a project’s timeline. DTP specialists are highly trained and able to work quickly to format a project using a variety of programs. This saves the client time from formatting the translated text themselves and risking the possibility of error if they are unfamiliar with the target language. DTP specialists can make informed design choices quickly and reduce the risk of inconsistencies.

LanguageLine Can Help

Regardless of file format, it’s important that you have clear expectations for the translated document beforehand. If you just want to know what the document says, a straightforward translation of the raw text will do.

The topic of DTP comes up in most project-planning conversations with our clients as they  want to ensure that not only is the translation excellent, but also that the new document will look exactly like the original. They do not want to manage extra steps before printing or publishing translated content. Clients typically appreciate the time and cost savings associated with not needing internal staff to deal with DTP step and quality assurance.

LanguageLine has a full team of DTP and Quality Assurance specialists ready to manage this part of the project once the translation has been completed.

LanguageLine’s teams work closely with our clients and communicate along the way to make sure you are satisfied with the final project. Our DTP team and project managers are in constant contact to assure that the final deliverable exceeds expectations.

We invite you to contact us so that we can learn more about your needs.

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