Tips for DTP adaptations in other languages

Tips for DTP adaptations in other languages 

Visually adapting documents to different languages—taking into account cultural and any other differences that may exist—is much more important than it seems. Contrary to what you might think at first, translating the text is not the only thing that needs to be done to fully adapt the layouts.

Here a good DTP service (desktop publishing service) can use editing, layout and graphic retouching to ensure that the image and values of the brand continue to be reflected in the same way, regardless of the language in which the document is written. You can then print it out and distribute it or publish it on your multilingual website with zero worries.

What should you consider when visually adapting translated documents?

Any visual adaptation of a document has a clear objective: to adapt the typographic style of a text to another language so that it occupies practically the same space and renders the same spacing and hierarchy. To do so, consider the following:

    • The length of words in a given language can affect the appearance of a text: Dutch or German, for example, have longer words than French or Italian. So, in the first couple of instances, readers are more accustomed to line breaking.

    • Requirements for typographic uniformity: between 55 and 65 characters are required on each line and, at most, two consecutive line breaks (four in the case of "long" languages).

    • Limit excess line breaks: they should be avoided on the last line of a page and, although they're very important when it comes to avoiding irregular line breaks, they shouldn't be used consecutively very often so as not to affect readability.

These are just a few examples of the importance of typographic adaptation in any translation, to achieve the best balance between a pleasing appearance and an easy-to-read experience.

Do you want to translate texts into Chinese, Japanese or Korean?

Asian languages have a number of characteristics that are important to remember. Particularly noteworthy is the single-case (unicameral) alphabet, which means that all characters have the same height and width. So, the script is physically very different from the rest of the languages, which, at the graphic level, has several consequences:

    • The necessary hierarchical relationship cannot be created with the use of upper and lower case letters, so other elements, such as bold letters, are used.

    • Chinese, Japanese and Korean do not use italics. Instead, it’s common to replace them with handwritten fonts, for example.

    • These languages are much easier to read with justified text.

    • In Asian languages, punctuation mark arrangements are very different, so in this aspect the source layout does not serve as a reference.

Advantages of hiring Linguaserve's desktop publishing service

As you've seen, the visual adaptation of documents in translation into other languages is fundamental. That’s why hiring our localization services and, more specifically, our DTP service is a very good idea to ensure the quality and effectiveness of all texts in all languages. It is essential never to forget about the visual and legibility component in these tasks, and at Linguaserve, we’re very aware of this.