7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 6, 2013 9:07 AM by Joel Cherney

    How do I set up an InDesign document in another language?

    Moncoeur Level 1

      I have laid out an InDesign document in English. It will be very easy for me to copy/paste my translated text for Spanish since my fonts include the accents, etc. for Spanish. But, how do I do it for a language that uses cyrillic (or other) characters instead of normal letters? I will be given the text in Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Tagalog, and Korean in a Word document. Will I need to purchase special fonts for these languages? I'm assuming that if my English InDesign file is using Helvetica Neue Lt Std, that a copy/paste will not work when I'm pasting Russian text. If I will need special fonts, can you recommend some for these languages (for PC; opentype or postscript)? Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: How do I set up an InDesign document in another language?
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          You are correct. You'll have to change fonts to something with the required glyphs.

          • 2. Re: How do I set up an InDesign document in another language?
            Moncoeur Level 1

            I was afraid of that. Any suggestion on the fonts?

            • 3. Re: How do I set up an InDesign document in another language?
              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

              Not from me. My typesetting is limited to latin-script languages so we're better off waiting to hear from some folks who use the fonts you need.

              • 4. Re: How do I set up an InDesign document in another language?
                Ellis home Level 4

                What version of ID are you using? If you check at the bottom of the fonts list you'll see groups of fonts for several languages including Chinese and Korean. Russian/Vietnamese I think you can use Minion-Pro or other fonts with glyphs for those languages. For Tagalog you'll have to get the font. For Chinese and Korean, besides the fonts, you might need a plug in like the one offered by In-tools.com. If you have CS6 or CC you have Adobe World-Ready Paragraph Composer that you need to use. This is really just limited information. There are more knowledgeable contributors in this forum that hopefully will offer you a more expanded answer.

                • 5. Re: How do I set up an InDesign document in another language?
                  Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Well, I can answer all of your questions, but I'm feeling like you ought to be answer some of them yourself in order to be able to demonstrate yourself competent of typesetting these languages in the first place. For instance: a brief visit to Wikipedia will reveal that Tagalog is typeset in Latin script. Just make sure that it's not marked as English, and that hyphenation is off, and you should be okay with whatever English-language fonts were originally selected for the project. This is partially because Tagalog typographical rules are not as stringent as English rules are, and many of the rules tend to hew to US English standards in any case.

                   

                  However, that cannot be said for Russian at all. Russian typographical rules are more stringent than English rules. They don't have the pick-your-own-style-guide problem that English has. Ever watched people argue over the Oxford comma? Much less likely to have that kind of dispute in Russian. But since you don't know the rules, you won't know when you're breaking them.

                   

                  Russian and Vietnamese are both supported by comparatively narrow arrays of fonts. There's a Russian foundry called Paratype that will have a very wide array of Cyrillic cuts of familar fonts. Vietnamese is harder to find. The advice from Ellis is good. I'd also point out that any Adobe "Pro" font stands a good chance of having Russian and/or Vietnamese. I am pretty regular user of Myriad Pro and Hypatia Sans Pro (with all of the extra typographical doodads turned off).

                   

                  Chinese and Korean are so different that there isn't even very much hope that you can go out and find a font and do it yourself. Fonts for both languages are incredibly expensive. The free fonts that came with your OS might be okay; the ones that came for free with InDesign are also good. But in neither case should you expect a full set of weights, or any italics whatsoever. (Also: don't fake an oblique by adding skew; it looks about eight thousand times worse in Chinese than it does in English.)

                   

                  I would strongly advise that you have all of your documents proofed by the translators. For Korean, it'd almost be mandatory; your formatting job stands a decent chance of being Worse Than Useless. (About ten percent of the Korean I handle in InDesign fails to wrap at spaces and breaks in the middle of words.) If there is any chance that you can job this out to a pro, I'd suggest that you take it. It'd be far better for your non-English-language readership if you as a designer critique the typically sub-par design job offered by your translation firm's DTP department than you, as a designer, render the translated text poorly and not have an in-language reader tell you where you've botched it. In the first case, it's probably ugly, but in the second case, it's maybe illegible.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: How do I set up an InDesign document in another language?
                    Moncoeur Level 1

                    Thanks Ellis and Joel - this info is valuable! (by the way, I posted here AFTER I tried researching it online, but was still fuzzy on it).

                    • 7. Re: How do I set up an InDesign document in another language?
                      Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      I've never understood why people in my position (DTP-slingers for translation firms) are so reticent about sharing what they've learned. It's like there is a code of silence, or something.

                       

                      If I suddenly stop posting, please call Missing Persons right away