Multilingual Desktop Publications: Quality never compromised

If someone is working in a marketing agency, he will know how much effort, time and attention to details require for getting exactly right marketing communications for his/her clients. Hours are required for refining text as well as design to communicate the right message. Once the English artwork is signed off, think of the multilingual versions.
The Spanish, German, French or may be Brazilian Portuguese versions must look as good as their original versions. That means a fault, localized and perfect design of the translation as compared to the original.
Multilingual Desktop Publishing Challenges
Possibly the major challenge for desktop publishing projects and the artwork is to make sure that the text that is translated fits into the space available without needing a whole redesign. Many languages after translation from the English reside in more space on one page. English is a compressed language and so causes problems while translations. The below-mentioned table demonstrates the problem clearly:

Number of Characters (English) Additional space required
Up to 10 100% – 200%
11 – 20 80% – 100%
21 – 30 60% – 80%
31 – 50 40% – 60%
51 – 70 31% – 40%
Over 70 30%

As the less is text, bigger the challenge is. This shows that it is easy to fit the translated “print” to the leaflet design, but a call to action or a strap line may cause major problems.
Points to consider:
Compound nouns/ character width or height need to be considered. For example, in Dutch and German, the strings of small words may become big compound nouns. These may take overall more space than English text and need an adequate width to fit in without creating problems with text wrapping, linebreak, and hyper-nation.
Non-Latin scripts mostly require more width because the characters are normally wider. They may need extra space and height between lines: Arabic, Devanagari, Korean, Tibetan, Thai, Chinese, Japanese etc. all need more height. Languages like Chinese are compact but they need extra space to accommodate the script.
It must be also considered whether a design needs to be personalized for the right to left languages, like Hebrew and Arabic.
There are some steps that must be taken to ensure smooth running of project for the clients:
• Use native speaking and experienced translators: A skilled linguist is an ideal person to make sure that the text is translated correctly and also an emphasis on the usage of available space effectively. It may include rephrasing of sentences to condense the text, also localizing marketing material for a target region or country.
• Work with expert multilingual DTP team: It may be suitable to adjust artwork, fonts, layout and banners to ensure that the translated documents are perfect and stick to brand guidelines. A small change can make a big difference; always aim to produce marketing material that visually looks like it is designed in that language.
• Pay attention to details: Successful projects of translation address every component of the marketing material. For example, while translating, a white paper has page numbers, graphs and images placed where necessary.
• Check and double check: The essential part of the translation process is proofreading. Review the translated document in the house before delivery and also get the native speaking translators for proofreading.

3 Comments

  1. Chrinstine says:

    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact
    was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added
    agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

  2. sana says:

    Thank you Chrinstine!

    You can always contact us trough hi@translationblog.net

  3. Kelly Quinn says:

    I’m sure that a lot of people worry that quality is being compromised in these scenarios.

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