I typeset a pretty wide variety of languages in InDesign; French and Spanish are no problem. The "possibly other languages" can be difficult or impossible if you've not done any foreign language DTP in the past, and it sounds like you've not done so. In fact, I can't tell from your question if you're expecting InDesign to do the translation from English to French for you (impossible) or if you're expecting to be flowing French and Spanish text written by real French and Spanish human translators into your empty InDesign document (definitely doable).
Pretty much any decent font will have support for the accented characters in French and Spanish; make sure that your fonts support your target languages.
Also, note that other languages have different typographic rules than does English. Do you know all of those rules for all of your target languages? When to use an em dash? Which French punctuation should have a preceding space? Are the translators (who really should be native speakers of the target language) going to proof your work when you're done?
In this particualr case, the text is in English and we need to make it Spanish. None of us speak Spanish. My two years of high school Spanish 40 years ago did not stick with me. So using the converter I found in Google isn't going to cut it, right? You actaully TYPESET in the language. Here are examples of a test I did wth a convereter. Ihacked out a few words as they were names etc.
Dear Business Owner, Executive or HR Professional:
Recently, went sent you a postcard urging you to complete an online survey for the XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. The finished report will provide you with information about what constitutes a competitive benefit package in 2011. Whether you offer your employees benefits or not, we need your input to accurately reflect the competitive business climate in XXXXXXX.
Every response counts. Please take a few minutes to go to our secure site at the link below and submit your response as soon as possible. If you have already done so, thank you for your input.
You will be asked to enter your firm’s 4-digit Survey ID Number that appears above your name and address on this postcard. If you prefer a paper survey, please contact me and we will send you one.
Thank you for your participation.
XXXXXX/Economic and Labor Market Information
Recientemente, fue enviado una postal que le insta a completar una encuesta en línea para el 2011 Estudio beneficio adicional. El informe final se le proporcionará información sobre lo que constituye un paquete de beneficios competitivos en el 2011. Ya sea que usted ofrece a sus empleados beneficios o no, necesitamos su información para reflejar con precisión el clima de negocios competitivo, en xxxx.
Las cuentas de cada respuesta. Por favor, tómese unos minutos para ir a nuestro sitio seguro en el enlace de abajo y envíe su respuesta lo antes posible. Si lo ha hecho ya, muchas gracias por tu aportación.
Se le pedirá que ingrese su empresa de 4 dígitos número de identificación de la encuesta que aparece por encima de su nombre y dirección en esta postal. Si usted prefiere una encuesta en papel, por favor póngase en contacto conmigo y le enviaremos una.
Gracias por su participación.
Departamento de Trabajo / Información de los Mercados Económicos y Laborales
Cher propriétaire d'entreprise, administration ou professionnels en RH:
Récemment, a envoyé une carte postale vous invitant à remplir un sondage en ligne pour le 2011 Étude avantages sociaux. Le rapport sera terminé vous fournir des informations sur ce qui constitue un ensemble de prestations compétitif en 2011. Que vous offrez à vos employés des avantages ou non, nous avons besoin de vos commentaires afin de refléter le climat des affaires concurrentiel dans le .
Chaque geste compte la réponse. S'il vous plaît prenez quelques minutes pour aller à notre site sécurisé à partir du lien ci-dessous et envoyez votre réponse dès que possible. Si vous avez déjà fait, merci pour vos commentaires.
Il vous sera demandé d'entrer à 4 chiffres de votre entreprise Numéro d'identification qui apparaît au-dessus de l'Enquête votre nom et votre adresse sur cette carte postale. Si vous préférez une enquête papier, s'il vous plaît contactez-moi et nous vous ferons parvenir un.
Nous vous remercions de votre participation.
/ Informations économiques et du marché
Brenda VT Labor wrote:
In this particualr case, the text is in English and we need to make it Spanish. None of us speak Spanish. My two years of high school Spanish 40 years ago did not stick with me. So using the converter I found in Google isn't going to cut it, right?
OMG please don't! Translating is an art -- being bilingual doesn't cut it, you have to be able to write as well.
Consider hiring a professional for the actual translating. This has nothing to do with InDesign either -- send them a Word file of your English text, and you'll receive a Word file back in the target languages.
Brenda VT Labor wrote:
.. You actaully TYPESET in the language.
That's the other half Joel mentioned. Other languages follow other typographic rules, and just as a random Google translate won't cut it, you cannot expect to grab some hard-and-fast rules from the web and expect someone in that other language to take you seriously.
My Spanish is at least as ancient as yours, and I never spoke French. The Google or other machine translations will get you the equivalent of the English on the back or the chop stick wrapper at your local Chinese restaurant. You can tell what they meant to say, and it might be cute, but is that the way you want these readers to view your product? Hire translators.
There is special software for this that uses InDesigns iml (XML) features, it is called Trados and very expensive...
Google Translate (and other kinds of software-based "machine" translation) can be really useful for figuring out what someting on the Internet says in another language, but for most kinds of communication (say, printed business communication) it just announces to your readership "I really don't care at all whether or not you can understand what I have to say to you." That being said, your Spanish sample is less mangled than is typical. I'm no professional English -> Spanish translator, but I see a few things in there that may be glaring errors - not errors that would prevent comprehension, just errors that make you sound, er, less than literate.
I'd say in response to your original question: I suggest no language translation software at all. I suggest that you pay a human being to write your basic form letters. I suggest that you have a conversation with that human about how best to set up your form letters so that someone who is not Spanish-literate can use the templates without worrying about offending your target audience with sub-literate or incomprehensible language.
Oh heck, that's what I get for not refreshing before replying. Hi, guys.
Brenda, everything that these fellows said was correct. You can go to SDL and they'll sell you Trados and access to their machine translation resources... we're talking ~$4k minimum, probably more like $15k, to get the software you want to machine-translate your letters. You'd be better served by developing a relationship with a translation firm, I think.
You mean you haven't gotten your subscription for InDesign CS13 yet? Reading your thoughts and doing the translation was included in the CS13 update. ;-)
Thank you all. I'm not sure everyone is seeing this...NO time to figure all this technology out. But am grateful for answers. The KISS method works for me!