Whether it be Mac or Windows, we use the latest versions of all commonly used programs such as Adobe FrameMaker, InDesign, QuarkXPress or the Microsoft Office suite, and do the foreign-language typesetting for your catalogs, manuals, documents and packaging.
In order to structure the way in which we work and to provide robust quality assurance, we generally make use of checklists tailored to the needs of our customers and their documents. This gives us standardized, systematic processes.
As well as all the languages of the EU, we of course handle Eastern European languages, including documents that use Cyrillic and Greek scripts. We also have experience in setting Asian, Arabic and Hebrew scripts.
Multilingual desktop publishing: Different languages use different characters. For German, we need the special characters ä, ö, ü and ß, and for Turkish, we need the special characters ç, ğ, ı, ö, ş and ü.
When typesetting a foreign language, we make sure that the target language appears properly. But every language has evolved to have its own typographical peculiarities. These can include
- hyphenation rules
- country-specific conventions on how numbers and units are written
- speech marks
- punctuation marks
Observing the conventions of the various languages is crucial if the translated document is to be visually appealing. It is often the case that customers have specific requirements in respect of typographical details, for instance to comply with the corporate identity stipulations. And, of course, we also take these into account when typesetting foreign languages.
The importance of the original
The original document should be created with the translation in mind in order to avoid excessive outlay when typesetting the translation. Anything that has not been optimized in the original document will have to be adjusted in each of the target languages.
Depending on the target language, the translation can take up to 30 % more space than the original. The exact ratio will depend on the original language and the target language. When translating from German to English, the text tends to become shorter, but when translating from German to Spanish or Greek, it tends to become longer. Texts will grow considerably when translated from English to Spanish or German.
Handling images when typesetting foreign languages
Documents will often contain graphics and images with text that needs to be translated. Part of our job when we prepare a translation is to extract these texts and provide them for translation. After translation, we use image processing tools to embed the translated captions neatly in the graphics again.