2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 5, 2011 8:06 AM by Tech Writer KC

    Translation Tips for .CHM Help Systems?

    Tech Writer KC Level 1

      RH8, parent/multiple-children.

       

      My company is looking to expand overseas, and part of this will eventually include translating the help. As part of this "internationalization" project, I've been tasked with determining what to expect for how our help system will be translated.

       

      Currently, our help is a 20-odd collection of CHM files, one parent and the rest children. We are also in the process of using these same projects to develop a WebHelp version of our Help to place on our company site.

       

      I believe at the moment we are planning to use Multilizer in translating both our application screens as well as the Help, and I"m aware of a interface plug-in for Multilizer to extract the text out of RH projects. However, I've been specifically tasked to find generic advice/suggestions/etc. as if we're not using Multilizer.

       

      In other words, I need to assume we're not using it and need to know what we might need to make our Help "generically" ready for translation, if such a thing exists. Sorry for being such an open-ended question, but that's what I'm tasked with.

       

      Personally, my main question is - how are multiple languages handled for projects? Do I need to duplicate each project by language - i.e. EnglishParent, SpanishParent, EnglishChild1, GermanChild1, etc.? Or do I retain a single project and add some indicator of what language I'm using when I build the .chm files?

       

      Thanks,

       

      Jeff

        • 1. Re: Translation Tips for .CHM Help Systems?
          RoboColum(n) Level 5

          Hi Jeff.

           

          We are only just starting down this line ourselves and in a more limited way than you. Only one of our merged child projects will be translated thus far. From our perspective we chose to maintain all the topics in the same project. You may decide to maintain a different project. I think the decision here is based on the usability for your authors as either way can work.

           

          We use the RH language settings to control topic spelling / grammer inside the same project. You can add conditional build tags to filter out topics from the output. The only issue here is TOC / Index files. You'd probably want to have separate files for each language if in the same project and these take the default project language - i.e. you can't override to use a different language. This in itself is not such a big issue if you are sure your fingers do what they're told!

           

          If you adopt the single project approach I'd recommend using folders for the different languages. It makes things a whole lot easier to manage. However as your translating everything I'd certainly look at the separate project approach.

           


            The RoboColum(n)   @robocolumn   Colum McAndrew
          • 2. Re: Translation Tips for .CHM Help Systems?
            Tech Writer KC Level 1

            Just to make sure I understand - you keep all versions in one project, and then just use conditional tags to separate the English topics or German topics (etc.) when generating the .CHMs?

             

            That seems fairly straight-forward, thanks!

             

            As for translation itself, does your company just have someone manually translate the content? I ask as I think my company prefers tools that are more automated, although I'm not exactly sure if the actual translation is machine translation or not. All I know is that the main tool they've been looking at, 'Multilizer', has a plug-in for RoboHelp, and my understanding is that it can automatically take out the text from our topics, do the translation (manual or machine I don't know) and then reinsert the translated sentences/paragraphs into their original spaces.

             

            They've asked for info that's more generic, not specific to Multilizer, but I'm kinda assuming they're wanting some similar type of tool if they don't go specifically with Multilizer. I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has had experience with this kind of tool/process.