8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 1, 2011 4:31 AM by J. Haller

    InDEsign  multiple languages from 1 document

    notannsteer Level 1

      I have a longish document in English [also in Spanish Russsian adn Chinese] I need to  automate teh layout  for the language versions.

      I have  successfully done a sample both as a data merge  [using CSV file and as XML. I have both InDesign  CS4 and 5.5 - windows XP.

      Eitehr way - I must go through teh  document and define/tag each element whenever there is a change of style. For CSV - I'm copying it into a database and then  converting that to Excel and to CSV becaue I find it easier to enter data into MS ACCESS. for XML - I need to go through and tag each elemnt.

      So far so good - but I  have a huge number of tags and I'm  getting lost in the  tag names - which could also be the table headings.  There is an option within INDesign to "show snippets" of structured/tagged elements - which shows the first few  words of a line - this is great and woudl help me immensely in naming/taggign my elements.

      Is there any way of capturign those snippets - other than copy paste?

      Does anyone have any  other suggestions on how best to proceed with this task?I can't believe it is unique - I'm sure there are  many other appplicatiosn for   language versions. Hint/Tips would be welcome

      Ann

        • 1. Re: InDEsign  multiple languages from 1 document
          Grant H Level 4

          yes: view/structure/show structure... then in the panel options select show text snippets

           

           

          G

          • 2. Re: InDEsign  multiple languages from 1 document
            notannsteer Level 1

            that's right - I can see the snippets - but how to  get them - so I  don't have to retype them - they'd be perfect for my table headings and tags - if I could just "get" them as a list or text file or something

            • 3. Re: InDEsign  multiple languages from 1 document
              Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I've been laying out translated documents in InDesign since the original ID CS came out in 2003. Unfortunately, I can't quite understand your workflow - this is not a good sign, but it's probably because I'm misunderstanding your explanation, not because your workflow makes no sense.

               

              You have some documents to lay out - in what format is the text, currently? It sounds like you're using a combination of Data Merge and XML Import. In some cases, you're plugging it into Access in order to be able to export XML? Or CSV? I can't tell. Do you need to be importing XML? It's one way to automate layout, for sure, but I have found it to be most useful when my translations were already in a format from which XML export was easy. What advantage does XML-tagging your translated content give you? For Data Merge, obviously no tagging is necessary; why aren't you just using Data Merge instead?

               

              To give you a point of comparison: When I have a translation project where I can't use a translation memory tool like SDL Trados that automates the text extraction and replacement process, I do this:

               

              1) Thread InDesign stories so that they can be easily imported & exported

              2) Style them perfectly with all paragraph and character styles

              3) Export RTFs

              4) Send those RTFs to translators who respect styles in Word

              5) Place those translated RTFs in InDesign

              6) Clear all overrides on all styles (I map a single shortcut to do this so I can just Select All text in a story and clear 'em all at once)

              7) Do a bit of manual cleanup where the text expanded beyond the capacity of the doc to hold it

               

              What about that process is insufficiently automated?

               

              If you need a more-automated solution, then why aren't you using DejaVu/Trados/some other translation memory tool? Or even mentioning it in your post? To be honest, it sounds a bit like you might be reinventing the wheel.

              • 4. Re: InDEsign  multiple languages from 1 document
                Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                that's right - I can see the snippets - but how to  get them - so I  don't have to retype them - they'd be perfect for my table headings and tags - if I could just "get" them as a list or text file or something

                 

                Oh, yeah: isn't this already in your xml/csv content? Or in the main body content in the ID file? Why you need to retype?

                • 5. Re: InDEsign  multiple languages from 1 document
                  notannsteer Level 1

                  ok - let me try to explain:

                  Source docuemtn is in English MS Word - it has been imported into InDesign - styles  applied - no overrrides, etc.

                  Need to create  same documetn in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and  a multitude of  other languages. For these the source files are also in Word. I don't know about the otehr things you mentioned TRados ,etc - they're probably way too expensive. And yes - I do feel as if I'm reinventign teh wheel but cannot find any alternative.

                  So - teh way I see I have CHOICE of methods -1. Data merge from CSV file or 2. XML.

                  I've been exploring both - in both cases - I  need to go through and label,tag, identify each entity of text [heading, paragraph, etc.]

                  Is this clear so far?

                  If I were to use data merge - I need to have a  CSV fiel with  teh various entities - onefile  for  each language - then I  select that element/entity  in the data merge panel  and can subsequently pour in teh language version [perhaps that is not clear  - but it works and I understand  how to do data merge] To populate teh Excel spreadsheet form which I derive teh CSV, it would be good to have headings in the table [that generates teh CSV] - so some sort of meaningful name is needed here so I know where I'm at  shouldt higns blow up - so far I have things like chap1image, chap1heading1, chap1text1,chapt1table1, etc]

                  AGain, it would help to have  names/label;s,heaidings whatever you want to call them tha t would help me to find the appropriate content.

                   

                  I were to use XML - I need to  carefully define each element and then "tag " it - and after "tagging" it - apply styles to the various tags -ok? rather than naming the tags  tag1 , tag 2 , etc - since it is a very long document - I'd rather name the tags soemthign meaningful - the snippet showing at  the beginning of each  element would be perfect.

                   

                  I am doing this at  teh request of teh client who needs ot be able to ahve  and to know the corerspondign language version  for each paragraph. Especially since neither of us  can read Chinese.

                   

                  Does this  shed soem  more light on the situation?

                  • 6. Re: InDEsign  multiple languages from 1 document
                    Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Ooookay. I think I can help you in a few ways - but first I have to tell you why what you are doing is not a good idea.

                     

                    Especially since neither of us  can read Chinese.

                     

                    Then you shouldn't be laying it out. You'll probably just make it ugly or hard to read, but there's a small-but-decent chance that you'll introduce critical errors. I often lay out languages I can't read - but that's after years of study of their widely varying typographical traditions, and also after years of having all of my layouts format-proofed (usually harshly) by the original translators. If you can't get that service from the translators, then you shouldn't be doing the job. Sorry to be blunt about it.

                     

                     

                    Source docuemtn is in English MS Word - it has been imported into InDesign - styles  applied - no overrrides, etc.

                    Need to create  same documetn in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and  a multitude of  other languages. For these the source files are also in Word.

                     

                     

                    Then why can't you just place the Word files, adjust styles to have fonts that support the scripts, and clear overrides? Why is automation necessary? It sounds like overcomplication to me. Such automation is helpful to someone processing lots of work quickly in a production environment, but to do so in circumstances where no one at all can read the target language is a recipe for disaster.

                     

                    I don't know about the otehr things you mentioned TRados ,etc - they're probably way too expensive. And yes - I do feel as if I'm reinventign teh wheel but cannot find any alternative.

                     

                    Basically, what such tools do is that they do automatically what you are trying to do manually with Data Merge or XML Import. In the case of Trados, what it does is harvest all text content from .inx or .idml export (are you familiar with idml?), and then flow the translated text back into the doc in the exact same place from which it came.  There are very good reasons why these tools usually cost thousands of dollars.

                     

                    I have a gut feeling that you have all of the intellectual tools necessary to build a pretty good XML-based translation workflow yourself. However, my other gut feeling is that it would cost about 4x - 10x as much as jobbing it out to a professional. However, that's based on assumptions about your hourly rate (I am assuming here that you're charging the way a graphic designer would in Europe/North America/etc.) that are potentially flawed. So: yes, if you're going the XML route then you will need to manually tag everything in all of the translations. That will be a lot of manual work. You will make mistakes (as you can't read the target languages). Wouldn't it make more sense to use translators who use translation tools that respect those tags? Could you possibly go back to the translators who provided the text and pay 'em to apply their translation memory databases to the XML-tagged document? You could tag up the English manually, then provide that tagged English doc to the translators and (if they are professionals using the correct tools) return translations that already have all of the content tagged exactly as it was in the English.

                     

                    That being said: if your translated content is table-heavy (as you imply) then there are good reasons to use Data Merge that have nothing to do with the fact that your content isn't in English. But if you can't read the language, then of course you're going to get lost! Your inclination to get the English snippets from XML import into your CSV file makes a lot more sense than it did before, but I have no idea how to do so without doing it manually by copying & pasting into Excel.

                    • 7. Re: InDEsign  multiple languages from 1 document
                      wordsmeet Level 1

                      Notannsteer, I tend to agree with Joel here. It would be much easier for you to harvest the text from the IDML (CS4/CS5) or INX (CS3) InDesign files that you would receive from Trados- or Deja Vu X-equipped translators (I happen to be one of them). In my experience, the layout work is minimal and the risk of messing up with the translated text (especially if you can't read the language) is very much reduced.

                       

                      I stumbled on your posting because I was looking for something else about InDesign CS5, actually. But Joel has helped me with a Burmese bind last week and today, so I know he knows his stuff.

                       

                      Translators who keep up to date with desktop publishing technologies and computer-assisted translation tools (such as Trados, Deja Vu, etc.) are familiar with .inx and .idml formats. I would look to work with such translators if I were in your place. Good luck!

                      • 8. Re: InDEsign  multiple languages from 1 document
                        J. Haller

                        I had this problem right now, and luckily I found a solution.

                        In Excel choose "Save as ..." > "Unicode Text (.txt)", then import this file into InDesign and all should work fine.

                        For Chinese characters, make sure to use the correct font, i.e. this is not "Arial" but "Arial Unicode MS" or "SinSun" or any other one. But make sure to choose a Unicode font that supports your character set.Untitled.png