Desktop Publishing, often referred to simply as "DTP," is the generic term for computer-assisted document preparation , especially with a view towards generating a professional-grade final product that can be given to a printing company for offset reproduction or published in electronic format.
Increasingly clients wish to have their documents translated, but with an additional benefit - they want to preserve the formatting of the original in the translated version. Often the original comes to the translator in a DTP format. The objective is to provide the client the same quality translation service, but additionally, in the same DTP formatting as the source document. This development has caused translation companies to become increasingly capable in DTP technologies.
Some translations make DTP out to be mysterious. Perhaps it is for them. Think of a document in Word format. Once it is translated, it should be delivered back in Word format, with the headings and titles formatted in the translated version just as they were in the original. And the same holds true for the appearance of footnotes, text boxes, tables and images. DTP simply expands this concept to include more elaborate and detailed formats, which are associated with programs oriented towards publishing rather than word processing. The concept remains the same, however. At a simple level, the format may be like Microsoft Publisher or Powerpoint. Other, more elaborate programs include QuarkXpress or any of the Adobe family of FrameMaker, PageMaker, Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat. Corel's products in the field are Ventura and Draw. Macromedia is the author of Freehand. Sometimes a client will request the translated document to be delivered in HTML XHTML or a scripting language format. On other occasions, the client may even request color separations from the translator; however, it is always prudent for the client to make a final format review before committing to any production-quality output.
Green Crescent Translations uses two different approaches, according to the nature of the client's needs and the degree of difficulty of the text to be translated. Often the translator will be competent to maintain formatting during the translation process. This is particularly true if the translator uses one of the more advanced computer-assisted translating programs capable of preserving formatting tags. Occasionally this is not possible, in which case the project manager receives the finished translation from the translator, and, while obtaining the native speaker quality control check (applied in every case), is able to re-establish the format of the translated document so as to reflect the format desired by the client.
Green Crescent Translations is glad to consult with clients about questions of typographical design and layout, as well as localization issues (like currency, time and date, units of measurement, etc.). If going from a source to a target language that involves a change in the direction of the text (as from, say, English
to Arabic) or the volume of the text (for example, Chinese to Spanish), some adaptations in the layout of the pages may be required. In the accomplishment of a DTP translation project, Green Crescent Translations always works closely with the client at various points in the process.