6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2008 1:23 AM by ThermoBob

    Gloabilizing Help Files


      I have been charged with maintaining the documentation for my company's software products. We have just upgraded to RoboHelp 7 and I was wondering if there was an easy way to globalize the files in the new version of RoboHelp.

      We currently give the help source files to our international offices and require them to make any translations. I was hoping that there is a way to send, lets say, and XML file with the text that needs to be translated, this way I can keep the source files in my possession and just get the necessary translations.

      Our current method works well for us, I just want to know if there is an all around better way to do this.

      Thank you in advanced for any help you can provide.

        • 1. Re: Gloabilizing Help Files
          Kathy313 Level 1
          I'm in the same boat... new requirement that my department (instead of a subsidiary) provides translated versions of help for a certain product. How I'm going about this (generating as HTMLHelp):

          -- I have separate help projects for each language. At the project level you define the language, and the proper .lng file and spell-checker engine are attached to the project.
          -- I am keeping the topic .htm file names the same across all languages, because the help files are context-sensitive. No sense making the programmers write code to figure out which translated .htm file name to call.
          -- Instead of sending over XML files, I am exporting the content to a .doc file. Easier to manage if all in one document, rather than dozens of XML files. Plus, Word has revision marking, which will be important for preparing files for a subsequent translation. (The xlate service should only translate what's been changed, not re-do the entire content.)
          -- When I get the translated content back, I will copy and paste the text into the respective help topics. I did use a unicode font instead of standard Arial or Verdana.

          • 2. Gloabilizing Help Files
            anubisascends Level 1
            Thanks for the reply!

            I have found a software that facilitates easy localization.


            It's pricey, but may be worth it, does any one use it?

            Right now I am trying to create a class library that will allow me to use RoboHelp 7's xml output to generate a translation database that I can then send to my translators and they can send back.

            • 3. Re: Gloabilizing Help Files
              I am in the same position as I need to have a help project translated into Japanese. RoboHelp 7 at least supports Japanese characters, but as far as I can tell it doesn't do anything clever in terms of translation. Either at my end, or at the translator's end there looks like there is going to be an awful lot of manual inputting.

              Is there no way that two language versions can be contained in one project and then for RoboHelp to keep track of changes in each and that sort of thing? I could do this with conditional build tags, but then there is no link between the two language versions.
              • 4. Re: Gloabilizing Help Files
                anubisascends Level 1
                So far, I can't find anything more helpful than the product I listed above. I have tried out the trial version and it is amazing how well it works.

                There is alot of translation needed, especially for a language like Japanese.

                We translate our help into 40 different languages (including Korean, Japanese, Madarin, Cantonese, and Cyrillic)
                • 5. Re: Gloabilizing Help Files
                  ---Dirk_Bock Level 1
                  I don't know much about this Sisulizer, but have had some experience with the translation of Online Help projects.

                  If you have to maintain the documentation, including overhauls and upgrades of the texts, you usually employ a translation memory system. Such a system separates the actual text from the layout, supports the translator by automatically translating repeated sentences and, most important of all, builds up a translation memory.

                  When you have a new translation project, regardless of it being a minor modification, an upgrade or something completely new, you feed this translation memory back into the system along with the new texts. The TMS then analyzes the new texts, automatically performs the translation of identical parts and offers the translator so called "fuzzy matches", i.e. sentences wich are similar to already translated ones.

                  If you get your writers to use a somewhat controlled language, you'll see lots of work done for you automatically.

                  You can either invest in a TMS, manage your projects yourself and demand your contractors to use this system for their translation work for your company, or you use a translation agency to handle that part, but set up the contracts in a way that your company owns the translation memory generated in the projects.

                  ---Dirk Bock
                  • 6. Re: Gloabilizing Help Files
                    ThermoBob Level 1
                    So it seems the only way to do it is with a third party product. I'll have to check them out and see what might work.

                    Thanks for the replies.