1 person found this helpful
Unfortunately, I have done many projects like this one. I was once given a T-shirt upon completing such a job, with the motto "Fastest Ctrl-C Alt-Tab Ctrl-V In The West" printed on it.
There are many tools that can make this project comparatively easy, but they all rely on using the tool before the translation is started. SDL Trados is one of the more well-known such tools, but it is too robust (and too expensive!) for me to call it a "utility." There are quite a few other such tools that I could name for you, but they typically function in the same way - you feed the InDesign file into it, it automatically extracts the translateable text, and then provides it to the translator in a different format (either proprietary, or more often in a specialized template that sits atop MS Word) who then performs the translation, which can then be fed back into the translation tool, which can then flow the translation back into the InDesign document. Typically, all that remains to do after that is to step through the document and make all of the text frames a bit bigger (because the translation is typically longer than the source document).
However, this method won't work if your Word doc was just typed up by a translator looking at the PDF. The text must be extracted from InDesign in a predictable, programmatic way for these tools to work. You didn't tell us who provided the translation, and we can't see the Word file, so it is impossible to guess how the Word file was built. So it is almost impossible to suggest a way forward for you. Here are a few options:
1) If you can find out more about the workflow used to create and translate the Word file, I might be able to suggest a free or cheap translation memory tool that you could use to flow the translation back into the document. If person made a French Word file from the InDesign file by copying and pasting, then if that file is available to you, it is possible to rebuild an automatic workflow to get all of the text back into the InDesign document without any copying and pasting.
2) There is a remote chance that your Word file was actually produced by Trados - in which case it might be an "unclean" Trados file, from which it would be possible to reconstruct the workflow and build a new translation memory to apply directly to your InDesign files. You can find out by opening the Word file and turning on the hidden formatting marks. If you see that each translated sentence in your Word file is accompanied by a hidden sentence in French, then you have an unclean Trados file.
3) But, in all honesty, such tools require so much expertise to use that the easiest, best way to proceed would be to hand the whole package off to a localization professional who already has all of the expensive tools and arcane knowledge to save this project. That kind of InDesign document - the kind with dozens of unthreaded text frames on every page - usually requires lots of cleanup before translation if the InDesign operator isn't going to manually, laboriously flow the translation back in. That is why my post is so long - your question "what is the easiest, best way to do this?" basically asks me "Joel, what is the easiest and best way to do your job?"
You might have a look at our StoryTweaker. However, keep in mind that it has dated a bit - we're hard at work on version 2.0 which will be IDML-based instead of using our own file format which still dates back from the CS3 days, but version 2.0 is not 'beta-ready' yet.
StoryTweaker was designed exactly for this kind of round-tripping (change the text, keep the styles), and is meant as a low-end editing/translation tool.
Thanks Joe and Kris...
You send me in right direction.
We recently posted 3 new videos about translating InDesign documents with CopyFlow Gold and SDLTrados. They can be found at http://www.napsys.com/CFGvideos.html .
These videos show the workflow using the latest CS6, but the same process works with InDesign from CS3 on.
All the best.
We translate our files in 10 languages and are using this service called Redokun.
We have some languages that we translate internally, inviting colleagues to work in the interface of the software, while others are translated by an external agency, and so I send them an Excel file exported by the software.
The translated IDML is good 99% of the time. Only sometimes I need to fix text-boxes here and there.