A professional translator doesn’t translate words but ideas. The best translations are so fluent and idiomatic that you may not even realise that the text has been translated from one language to another. Naturally, translation is not merely thoughts and ideas – just as no other aspect of communication or publication is these days. Instead, the work involves various tools, methods and technology required by the different forms of publication.

Before a text can be published in the intended format, whether it is a website, user interface, online form, PDF or printed brochure, manual or product catalogue, designing and coding the layout and appearance require skills, a thorough understanding of programming and design technologies, and a lot of time and effort. As a result, you get complex file formats with various formatting and control codes.

In a global economy, different language versions are required for an increasing number of publications, and more and more often translations are needed for texts in different file formats. In addition to common Office files (DOCX, XLSX, PPTX), translations are made for instance into InDesign, PDF, HTML, XML, CSV, PO, YML or RESX files.

How does the file format affect translation? Should it be considered when the translation is started, or will the coding and formatting be applied separately after the text has been translated? Or will the translated texts need to be copied separately sentence by sentence into the pre-coded and formatted drafts.

There are a number of approaches but the most convenient way by far is to do the translation directly on top of the original text in the original file format. The codes are filtered out of sight during translation work and for each language version a new copy is created which is identical to the original but in a different language. This way translation versions can be produced efficiently without slow, labourious, manual steps and they are quickly ready for publication.

Translation is not carried out in the design and programming software used to create the original files, but rather the texts are processed in programs specifically developed and optimised for translation work. These programs known as CAT tools can improve quality and provide cost savings which can be a substantial benefit especially in extensive or multilingual projects.

Naturally, form also affects content: text is adapted according to its purpose and context. For instance the same thought maybe expressed slightly differently in a brochure or in a title than in a general document or body text.

Maris Multilingual has extensive experience and expertise in handling and translating different publications and file formats. We cooperate with designers and programmers in order to be able to produce your language versions as smoothly and cost efficiently as possible.

Contact us when you need translation services or more information about translating various texts and publications. We will be delighted to help you!