Best Practice: Format conversion in translation part 2
This methodology helps eliminate the risk of human error through manual intervention (cut-and-paste mistakes etc.) as well as avoiding the danger inherent in trusting complicated typography to specialists who are unfamiliar with the foreign language in question.
It also enables us to return to the client a document which is as close as possible to the original in terms of layout and formatting. Keep in mind, however, the varying typographical conventions and space requirements for various languages –
French, for example, has quite unexpected punctuation rules and German hyphenation is in a class of its own. Some East Asian scripts can be written horizontally or vertically, whilst Hebrew and Arabic are written right to left, which calls for special typesetting techniques.
The entire process is also made easier if a few simple points are taken into account. During pre-processing, for instance, it is important that the text ‘flows’, that the format accepts text segments of varying length and that you avoid the use of manual line breaks in the middle of paragraphs.
QuickSilver Translate can work with any major format, including:
- Professional layout tools – QuarkXPress, InDesign, FrameMaker etc.
- MS Office tools – Word, PowerPoint, Excel
- Access Web-based formats – HTML, XML, ASP etc.
Layout programs are best suited to this approach. Other programs designed more with graphics in mind complicate the process: Illustrator or its predecessor Freehand, for example, considerably increase the time and cost of text processing. It is sometimes quicker to recreate the entire document in a more suitable format.