4 Replies Latest reply on May 15, 2013 10:21 AM by Joel Cherney

    Multi-language Publication

    Diego Souza Mello Level 1

      Hi there,


      I am working on a travel guide that will be published in Portuguese and English. The content is very well structured. I'd like to know what is the best way to work with this publicatio to reduce production time? I want to layout the document in one language and then change the text keeping the formating.


      Is XML the best way to go?





        • 1. Re: Multi-language Publication
          Joel Cherney Level 5

          Impossible to say. If it's "very well structured" (which could mean quite a few different things, depending on the speaker) and if the translation provider knows what they're doing with XML, and you know what you're doing in InDesign and are quite familar with XML workflows in InDesign, then maybe XML would be the best way to go.


          I would personally prefer that a project like that go through a workflow that looks more like InDesign -> IDML -> translation tool like SDL Trados or memoQ -> IDML -> INDD.  That way it's still a tag-markup-based workflow, but you don't need to wrestle with InDesign's useful-but-funky XML Import implementation. (Which I avoid whenever possible, FYI, and I work in a translation firm.)


          Most importantly: Any translation workflow, if it's going to require minimal post-translation format cleanup within InDesign, requires that the source document be built with text expansion in mind. I don't know if that falls under your "very well structured" description or not.

          • 2. Re: Multi-language Publication
            Diego Souza Mello Level 1

            Hi Joel,


            I just checked SDL Trados and memoQ, unfortunately I don't know if the project has the budget to buy the licenses of any of these tools, and I also don't know if it's a company or a freelancer who will do the translation, but the workflow sounds straightforward.


            When I say that the information is very well structured is because it could be easily stored in a database. The guide is about four regions of the country side of the state of Rio de Janeiro. So we have it as follow:



            • City
              • Type of attraction (restaurants, museums, historical farms etc)
                • Attraction
                  • Description (short text)
                  • Presentation (long text)
                  • Contacts
                  • Address


            There is already a printed version of this guide and the next step is to produce a digital version of it, probably using DPS. The digital edition will have a Portuguese and an English app.

            • 3. Re: Multi-language Publication
              Joel Cherney Level 5

              I'd suggest that you first figure out who your translation provider will be, and what their capabilities are. If they are tag-savvy and have the right tools, and you are database-savvy and can set up the DB that spits out the easy-to-import XML, then you should try an XML-import dry run to see if you yourself have the skills to run an XML import workflow. If everything works out, then your original supposition was correct: a translation workflow relying on XML import will be the best way to reduce production time.


              If I knew your technical skills better, I'd know whether or not to bet against it working out as I've outlined above. My gut feeling is that you should be asking these questions of your translation provider.

              • 4. Re: Multi-language Publication
                Joel Cherney Level 5

                Also: if you are expecting your first XML-Import workflow in ID to come off without a hitch, then you are pathologically optimistic.