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Desktop Publishing or DTP in Translation Industry: Which factors make it essential?

Desktop Publishing or DTP is a process of using computer software specialized to create page layout and designs.

So why do translation companies offer DTP services?

During the translation of documents from one language to another, the number of words in the final output is never the same. Different language means different words.

Imagine this during instances wherein a company has to translate its marketing collateral (ie brochure) into another language, this means not only changing the text but as well as adjusting the entire page layout too. The whole page is affected as the text changes. This type of project requires not only translation services.

Therefore, the role of Desktop Publishing steps in. DTP creates page layouts in the target language while being mindful of the page elements such as spaces, size, font, columns, images, shapes, and icons.

It requires a trained DTP Specialist to manage the challenge of putting all the changes brought by the target language in contrast while preserving the original appearance as much as possible.

The most common programs used to create and enhance all these graphic components are Autodesk AutoCAD, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe FrameMaker, and Adobe PageMaker.

A visually well-constructed document impacts the audience as it makes its image more memorable and effective.

As Steven Bradley quoted, ” Human beings have an attractiveness bias; we perceive beautiful things as being better, regardless of whether they actually are better. All else being equal, we prefer beautiful things and we believe beautiful things function better. As in nature, function can follow form. “

Below are the factors which make Desktop Publishing essential in the translation industry:

1.) Direction of text

There are documents translated into a language with different direction of writing. Languages that are written from right to left such as Arabic, Aramaic, Dhivehi/Maldivian, Hebrew, Kurdish (Sorani), Persian/Farsi, and Urdu. Also, there are languages from top to bottom direction like Japanese.

2.) Narrowed or extended words

Translating to languages such as Spanish and French extends the entire content up to 30%. Meanwhile, if translated to Chinese, the content becomes shorter simply because this language is logographic. Every shortened or expanded text means another set of adjustments and transformations within the page layout.

3.) Knowledge of fonts

Not all alphabets are compatible with every font design. Numerous languages have their own characters. DTP specialists have broad experience and knowledge of the font compatibilities for the language you need.

4.) Graphic design skills

With wide knowledge in image editing using various graphic design software, DTP specialists are capable of modifying text on images in the target language required.

5.) File format

If you are submitting a .pdf file as your source file, then you need a DTP service. DTP professionals manipulate page layouts of documents in different file types. They are experts in handling files in different formats.

6.) Translation Quality Assurance

The translation quality of every page layout is accessible anytime for review and revision. Usually, desktop publishers are language experts themselves. In addition, the team has in-house proofreaders who can triple-check if there is any translation error. There is higher confidence with the standard of the page layout and design, as well as the translation accuracy.

Translation and Desktop Publishing comes hand-in-hand that is why it’s ideal to have both done from one place or source. Like us in DEMA Solutions 4LSCs where we offer both solutions in order to deliver a consistent and quality result.

Together, the primary goal is to deliver a graphically presentable layout and a clear comprehensible document in its target language.

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