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ICD Creating Translation-Ready English Documents Catherine Deschamps-Potter International Communication by Design, Inc. – 414-265-2171.

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Presentation on theme: "ICD Creating Translation-Ready English Documents Catherine Deschamps-Potter International Communication by Design, Inc. – 414-265-2171."— Presentation transcript:

1 ICD Creating Translation-Ready English Documents Catherine Deschamps-Potter International Communication by Design, Inc. – 414-265-2171

2 ICD Introduction Let’s examine foreign language any layout issues you should consider when you are designing and writing your English documents. Are you involved in writing or designing English documents that will be translated into other languages? 2

3 ICD Paradigm Shift “I’m too busy, I don’t want to hear about how my English documents are set up. Just translate them.” “We spent a lot of money on translation services last year, and the process didn’t run very smoothly. How can we make these project cycles more efficient and cost-effective?” 2000: Translation as an Afterthought 2006: Let’s Develop a Strategy 3.25/word x 250/page=$62.50/page x 100pp=$6,250 x 15 langs=$93,750 (500 page book would equal $468,750)

4 ICD Use Accessible, Inclusive English F Your readers will not have a uniform reading level. Tailor your English text to the comprehension level of your target audience. F Use short, clear sentences. F If you must use acronyms, be sure to spell out the meaning on the acronym the first time it is used. If your document contains many acronyms, an acronym appendix can be helpful to the reader. 4 If your English isn’t good, translations won’t be good!

5 ICD Write Consistently F Use terms consistently F Use metric (US) F Write in Active, not Passive Voice F One Topic Per Page/Facing Pages F Employ Minimalist Writing F Reduce Word Count F Eliminate redundancy F Represent information graphically (but no words on graphics – use callouts) F Foreign/Domestic meaningless F Billion=1,000,000,000 in US, F =1,000,000,000,000 in UK F Don’t turn nouns into verbs or verbs into nouns F Show telephone numbers in international formats F Use care when referring to geographical locations, references, holidays, celebrities, seasons, humor F Don’t use body parts, animals, religious symbols F Use natural mappings for color F Use genitive rather than possessive apostrophe F Don’t leave out the articles F Keep tone professional

6 ICD Use Accessible, Inclusive English (cont.) F Translators try to provide translations that mirror not only the content, but also the style, of the English document. F Eliminate colloquialisms that may translate oddly or may confuse the foreign language reader. F Watch usage of same word in multiple grammatical constructs: File the file in the file folder. „Was sagen diese verrückten Amerikaner?“ 5 Develop a Style Guide

7 ICD More Is Not Always Better Prior to sending files for translation, delete text that refers to irrelevant market requirements or regulations. A reader in China does not care about California clean air regulations or European Union legal verbiage. Result? Lower translation costs and more readable for the end user. 6

8 ICD Be Sensitive to Local Issues Avoid words that may inadvertently cause controversy or confusion.

9 ICD Be Careful with Color Perhaps you are already aware of some cultural differences when it comes to color. For example, in Asia, black is a color of celebration, while white is the color of mourning. Consider the cultural ramifications of color when you are designing your manuals, brochures and websites. 8

10 ICD Cultural Connotations of Color RedChina: symbol of celebration and luck YellowAsia: sacred, imperial. BlueMiddle East: strength and safety. A “safe” design color for most cultures. PurpleEurope: royalty and death. In other parts of the world, purple has very negative connotations. WhiteJapan: white carnations symbolize death. BrownIndia: the color of mourning. GreenIn tropical countries, green often symbolizes danger. In India, green is the color of Islam. 9

11 ICD Cautionary Tale: Euro Disney Euro Disney The initial design for visitor signs and information booths at Euro Disney used large amounts of purple, which visitors found "morbid." As a result, Disney had to invest time and money to redesign all its promotional materials and signs. Be Careful with Color (cont.) 10

12 ICD Create English Glossaries It is likely that your company preferred key words and phrases. Take a little time to create glossaries of acronyms or obscure industry-specific terms, and share them with your agency’s project manager. Creating glossaries requires a little effort, but it can make a big difference in the quality and consistency of the finished translation. 11

13 ICD Layout Logistics Leave enough white space in your English documents. Romance language translations (Spanish, French, Italian Portuguese, German) are usually about 20% longer than the English source text text. White Space Is a Good Thing EnglishEspañol 13

14 ICD Narrow Columns Are a No-No Narrow columns often cause excessive hyphenation. It may not seem so noticeable in your English document, but once translated it could look very bad. This is particularly true of German; the words are very long, and narrow columns will contain many awkward line breaks. 14

15 ICD Cause and Effect Little white space + narrow columns + loose hyphenation = Longer foreign language documents (more $$$ to print) or very small foreign language text (unhappy readers) 15

16 ICD English Documents and Memory Tools Virtually all professional translators use translation memory software. Widely-used memory tools include: Trados Déjà Vu SDLX Catalyst A screenshot of a functioning Trados Workbench memory. 16

17 ICD The Benefits of Translation Software F Translation memory applications store translated text in linguistic databases for future use. F Use of translation software saves clients money, shortens project turnaround times, and results in a more linguistically consistent translation. 17

18 ICD How Does It Work? F As each language database grows larger, more and more matches are available for future projects. F When new documents are sent to our office for translation, an analysis is performed. The analysis gives the total word count and the number of matches in the memory. For 100% matches, the client pays for proofreading, not full translation. 18

19 ICD F Translation software is affected by desktop publishing practices. it is advisable to keep these issues in mind as you work on your documents: F Avoid soft returns and manual hyphenation. Translation memory software is based upon sentence recognition. When text is extracted, soft returns and manually hyphenated words can throw off sentence matches. Formatting Issues and Translation Tools 19

20 ICD Illustration Pointers F Use easily understood icons and illustrations. F If your illustrations contain callouts, use a legend instead of text boxes inside the illustration. –Saves costs on foreign language desktop publishing if artwork does not have to be modified F Callouts saved as art take extra time to localize. If your project is large, this can affect the price you will pay for translation. “Live text” callouts are preferable, since they will take less time to modify, and they can be added easily to the translation memory. 20

21 ICD Labels and Screenshots F Illustrations of product labels should be translated if they are translated on the equipment itself. F If your product includes translated software, we strongly advise the inclusion of new foreign language screenshots. It will cost more, but will be much more useful to the end user. 21

22 ICD Language/Revision Codes Revision marking and language coding is an easy way to avoid mix-ups, especially for “same language, different country” situations, such as Brazilian and European Portuguese. Create a code that will make document tracking easy and understandable. 22

23 ICD Create a code for each foreign language. In this case BR stands for Brazilian Portuguese. This is the date of the last foreign language document revision. widget model 456 (BR) Rev.: April 2004 Language/Revision Codes (cont.) widget model 456 (BR) Rev.: April 2004 Language/Revision Code 23

24 ICD The Scoop on Metrics F More and more technical writers are including both English and metric measurements in their documents, usually in this form: –U.S. document: 18 inches (46 cm) –Translated document: 46 cm (18 inches) F An English measurement can often be converted into three or four different metric values. If you do not provide metric measurements in your English documents, discuss preferred conversion factors with your translation agency. 24

25 ICD Telephone Tip Toll free 800 numbers do not work outside of North America. Provide an alternative number to your translation agency’s project manager, and provide customer service language options in your text. 25

26 ICD Telephone Tip (cont.) Spanish: Si tiene preguntas sobre el producto o necesita asistencia, diríjase a nuestro centro de servicio a clientes (solo Inglés) al (301) 459-5623. English: If you have questions on your product or need some assistance, please contact our customer service center (toll free) at 1-800-459-2590. (toll free) is not included in Spanish translation (solo Inglés) has been added to translation to show that customer service is offered only in English Example 26

27 ICD Sending Files to Your Agency F First, make sure that your English documents are “clean”: F In Microsoft Word documents, turn off “Track changes” and accept or reject all revisions. F In Adobe FrameMaker documents, generate your book and eliminate any cross-reference problems. F Delete any internal notes or questions that were placed in documents by yourself or colleagues. F Generate pdfs of your documents; this will be extremely helpful to your agency’s desktop publisher. He or she can use your pdfs to ensure that fonts and illustrations are appearing correctly in your translated files. 27

28 ICD Sending Files to Your Agency (cont.) F Send all original source files F If you want graphics to be translated, don’t send raster graphics unless you have to—send editable Illustrator or Photoshop files. F Send all but the most common fonts that appear in your document. 28

29 ICD Desktop Publishing Software Migrations If your company is upgrading your desktop publishing software, or moving to a new platform, communicate these changes to your translation project manager. He or she may need to modify your existing translation memories to make them compatible with your new software. 29

30 ICD Translation Bloopers F You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid (Japanese hotel) F The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid (Yugoslavian hotel) F Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time (Rome laundry) F Nothing sucks like an Electrolux (Scandinavian vacuum mfg) F Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists (Hong Kong Dentist Ad) F Ich bin ein Berliner! (President Kennedy)

31 ICD Conclusion Technical writers are busy people, and some of our suggestions may require a little additional time and effort on your part. The payoff is in the final product– an English document that can be translated into a clear, correct, useful foreign language counterpart. 30

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