Why should you trust our DTP team?
Looks matter. Who would deny that? A few expert tweaks to your translated files will greatly enhance your selling potential. No wonder Sparkling Lengua’s seasoned DTP team is much in demand.
But what is DTP (desktop publishing) all about? And how does it link to translation? In this two-part article, find out more about our expertise in all things graphical (part 1) and how we mastered a particular DTP challenge for X-Rite, a long-standing client (part 2).
Part 1 - Solution Brief
Bits of text hidden from view? Automated hyphenation out of control? Headaches over language-specific layout conventions? Just a few examples of why you might want to rely on our DTP services.
Translators are not layout specialists, and they don’t work in dedicated layout applications such as InDesign. In fact, files you submit for translation are imported into specialized translation programs, then re-exported into a raw format for DTP. These processes are automated and highly reliable, but no such automation is possible when it comes to layout adaptation.
At this point you might ask: “Why should my layout be adapted in the first place? Wasn’t it just perfect to begin with?” Well, yes, for sure, BUT…
To start with, the fonts used in your original file might not always be suitable for all target languages. Unusual, language-specific characters, such as ‘ğ’ in Turkish or ‘ę’ in Polish, might not be supported. Not to mention languages that use different scripts altogether!
Text expansion is another important factor. A French or German translation, for instance, can easily turn out up to 30% longer than your English version. That alone can wreak havoc with your original layout. Fixing it might require quite a bit of fiddling with object sizes, font sizes and spacing.
Enter Sparkling Lengua’s DTP department! Our team brings in many years of experience in multilingual publishing. Well-versed in all the classic tools of the trade (Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop etc.), we will just as proficiently handle your PowerPoint or HTML files. Virtually no language of this world, from standard to exotic, is a stranger to us. And should we occasionally be in doubt, we will approach our very own language specialists.
Translatable text in uneditable bitmap images? Just one of the challenges we solve on a daily basis, going well beyond what you can normally expect from a DTP partner. Our fully qualified graphic designers can even create stunning visual media from scratch. That way, we safely transport your entire brand image, both verbal and visual, across cultures – all around the globe.
Part 2 - Case Study
Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Grand Rapids (Michigan, USA), X-Rite is a global leader in colour science and technology. The company develops and manufactures innovative colour solutions – measurement systems, software, standards and services – for a range of industries, including printing and packaging.
Since our founding days, we have helped X-Rite with their multilingual translation, video subtitling and desktop publishing needs. This has meant handling countless brochures, whitepapers, case studies, press releases, mailings and videos – as well as their entire website.
A recent highlight was the localization of a highly scientific whitepaper in TeX format. Both file preparation and DTP (desktop publishing) were part of our complete service package.
TeX is a popular typesetting system for academic papers, especially in the fields of mathematics and computer science. Unfortunately, common translation software has trouble supporting it.
After a thorough analysis of the source materials, we decided to recreate the document in InDesign, taking the layout and visuals from existing X-Rite brochures. But that left us with two more challenges…
Firstly, what to do about the complex mathematical formulae found throughout the TeX document? We opted for high-resolution screenshots, taken from the original TeX file. And secondly, how to handle the various graphics with text to be localized? The ‘easiest’ option, we thought, was to recreate them in Photoshop. Both elements, screenshots and Photoshop graphics, were then embedded in the new InDesign file.
Finally, we adapted the format from US Letter to A4 for the European market.
All done? Not quite. X-Rite’s in-country reviewers wanted to be part of the process, so we created low-resolution PDF files for each one of them. This allowed them to check the translations in the final layout for comments and approval.
The final result? Complex facts translated clearly, succinctly and accurately – all packed into a perfect layout in X-Rite’s corporate identity. Target languages were French, German and Italian, though, of course, we can handle many more.
Needless to say: you, too, can count on Sparkling Lengua for complete, tailored solutions that will exceed your expectations. Don’t take our word for it: try us out!