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Cost Saving: Translating PowerPoint

How to Save Time, Money and Hassle When Translating a PowerPoint Presentation

Customers often assume that when we translate a PowerPoint Presentation (PPT), we do so slide by slide, directly in the source file. This is indeed how it would have been done 15 years ago, before the advent of Computer Assisted Translation software (CAT tools) and Translation Memories (TM).

These days, however, QuickSilver Translate makes use of specialised software, which searches a PPT and extracts the text into an editable format. Furthermore, if the text is, in fact, a link to an Excel file (for example) then we repeat the process for the linked file.

The Translation Process

Having extracted the text, we then translate it using a Translation Memory. This gives us all the advantages of consistency and efficiency, both for one-off translations, and even more so when we undertake numerous translations over time for the same customer. TM saves them time, money and hassle, and ensures the highest possible quality of translation.

The translated text is then simply ‘re-flowed’ back into the PPT, and there the story ends… Or, at least, it would do, if every text string in the translation had precisely the same number of characters as the original! Of course, this is never the case, and usually our designers need to make adjustments to the formatting (spacing, alignment, etc). We refer to this process as ‘tweaking’.

Experienced users of PowerPoint know how to put together slides in such a way that they will accommodate any translations. The key point being — by leaving enough space. Unfortunately, many people put together PPTs in a rather ad hoc way. This means that a significant amount of tweaking is needed to ‘fit’ the translated text. Remember that a Spanish translation generally occupies around 30% more space than the equivalent text in English. So if the slide is already full of text or images, then it requires considerable thought, work and sometimes even re-design to make space for that extra 30%.

This explains why the cost of translating a PPT can vary considerably. A lack of experience in designing PPTs with translation in mind, often ends up costing more money and taking considerably more time.

Integrated DTP and Translation

As a result, QuickSilver has adopted a more integrated approach to design, desktop publishing and translation, in which the process is streamlined to improve efficiency and reduce overall costs. This integrated approach consolidates all elements of a translation project into one continuous workflow, combining DTP software and processes, with state-of-the-art translation software.

Find out more: Design and Desktop Publishing (DTP)

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