DTP

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In a localization project, the localized file doesn’t always look like the source file. Sometimes, the translated strings are shorter, longer, or even have different writing directions…which messes up the layout of the file. How is this remedied? Find out what role DTP specialists play to make localized assets look better.


What does DTP stand for? DTP stands for desktop publishing. But that still doesn’t tell us exactly what this means, right?


In DTP, people basically deal with the layout. They make things like images, posters, PDF files look nice and pretty. Now, how is this related to localization? Do we still have DTP people in localization? Yes, we do.

To give you an example, let’s say we have this nice, pretty document and it’s a PDF from the source on the client. Somebody in their team made the effort to make things look nice and pretty. So we have this file, we have some text, we have some more images here. And then we have some more text, and so on. So it looks very nice and pretty and can be sent to the English speaking customers right away.


But the problem is with localization, it always makes troubles. So, we perform the act of localization on the English files, which basically means we extract the strings from this complicated source file. It’s an InDesign file and then when we import the translations back into the file, it looks like a total mess. Here’s some image, it’s in a different way. Okay, so it doesn’t look pretty. Why doesn’t it look pretty? Because well, we localize it, the translation, the length of the translations is different. Maybe something messed up the regular process, maybe somebody messed up with the images. And this is where the special DTP people come into play, and they get this mess. So, they are trying to basically fix the layout and make it look pretty again.

So, again, it looks just like the source looked for. Sometimes they need to make adjustments, because like I mentioned, the localization can look different. It can have different length of the strings. Things can be different. Maybe even, you know, for our Arabic or Hebrew languages, you need to swap the order, you need to change the layout, because it’s right to left. But that is basically the purpose of the DTP people, whether they’re called DTP engineers or the DTP specialists. They make localized assets that come as garbage look pretty again, so that they are final and they can be sent to the customers with a nice layout.

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