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Should I outsource this to a specialist?
Thread poster: Mauricio Coitiño

Mauricio Coitiño  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 05:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 31, 2009

First of all, I'm very happy for the great contributions being made to this forum. Under this thread I'd like to start a discussion on the scope of a translator's work in the field of DTP Translation. Have you ever wondered whether you should outsource the DTP part of a project to a specialist? Or even refused to take a project which the client required to be delivered "ready for print"?

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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:39
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Two questions Mar 31, 2009

I would say that there are two questions to be made here:

1. Is the format easy enough for you to take care of the DTP personally?

2. Is the profit in doing the formatting higher than the profit you would make translating?

It all depends on the time you have, how fast you can translate (i.e. whether you make more money translating than outsourcing DTP), and your ability to take care of the job yourself.

And there are also other considerations, like non-disclosure and confidentiality. If you have agreements with your customer in these areas, you would have to reach equivalent agreements with the DTP person before outsourcing any work at all...


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 10:39
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
My 2c Mar 31, 2009

Have you ever wondered whether you should outsource the DTP part of a project to a specialist?

No. Because so far I have always been spared the question. However, I would decide for a DTP person. Even with the original in a perfect form, there's still work to be done on the translation side with the preprint. Let everybody do their job - otherwise next time I may have to proofread a horrible translation done by the layouter (DTP perfect, but ...)

[Edited at 2009-03-31 13:06 GMT]


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Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:39
English to German
Yes, I would do that. Mar 31, 2009

I agree fully with Vito. Although it never happened to me that I was asked to do a DTP job beside the translation, I would prefer to outsource this part, if possible taking into consideration the agreements you have with the customer, or otherwise reject the job completely. When rejecting I would explain the reason clearly to my client.

Annett


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A specialist in WHAT? Mar 31, 2009

Differently from word processors, different DTP programs do not share files, if they ever do. I haven't yet seen a "converter" capable of doing decent work.

If the end-client requires the use of some specific DTP package, that's the way to go: look for a specialist in that program, that (or a compatible) specific version. I've been doing DTP for some two decades with PageMaker; though I can do triple backward loops with it, I have a hard time finding my way in FrameMaker or Quark. A specialist in that program will extract all the text for you, and get it organized for orderly implementation of your translation. S/he will even extract illustrations with embedded text so you can work on it.

If the source material is in PDF or hardcopy, any good DTP software with the corresponding skilled operator will cut it. Discuss with your DTP specialist on which of you is better equipped/skilled to extract text or do OCR, "scrape" the illustrations, etc. Make an agreement on what standards you should keep - especially if tables are involved - to make things easier.


On another front, there is the issue about - bluntly put - "what goes where?". There are many ways to tell the DTP specialist where is the translation corresponding to each chunk of text, which are the bold, underlined, italicized words. Some DTP'ers handle just any language, but this cross-referencing process may get laborsome. FYI word processor formatted text files (such as MS Word) can often wreak havoc in a DTP program, so plain TXT works best, but it foils such cross-references.

I don't DTP anything I cannot understand, so I advocate for the at-least-sesquilingual DTP-er. I only translate both ways in one language pair, however I speak three more languages that I refuse to translate professionally. This enables me to do DTP in any pair among these five languages.

As Vito mentioned the translation by a DTP operator, that shouldn't be the case. However in the only one of my languages that I never studied formally, I've spotted more than my share of typos in the translation. No, I didn't fix them on my own, but asked the translator. As a matter of fact, I leave it to the translator's choice if they want me to fix obvious things or not. If they don't want it, even if it's in my translation pair, I won't add a missing period.

So a sesquilingual DTP pro (or even a fellow translator in that pair who does DTP) can save a lot of work.


Regardless of whether the translator outsourced DTP on their own, or the end-client separately hired translator and DTP pro, a direct connection between these two considerably speeds up the whole process, and often reduces the overall cost.


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Rafał Kwiatkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:39
German to Polish
+ ...
CopyFlow is very handy... Mar 31, 2009

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

A specialist in that program will extract all the text for you, and get it organized for orderly implementation of your translation. S/he will even extract illustrations with embedded text so you can work on it.


That is f.e. CopyFlow Gold from NAPS (http://www.napsys.com/).

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

However in the only one of my languages that I never studied formally, I've spotted more than my share of typos in the translation. No, I didn't fix them on my own, but asked the translator. As a matter of fact, I leave it to the translator's choice if they want me to fix obvious things or not. If they don't want it, even if it's in my translation pair, I won't add a missing period.


And that's correct because if You work as a DTP specialist You don't need end even You should NOT add "the missing coma" because You are taking care of the DTP not LQA. I think that is correct and there is nothing special about it - i think it's obvious (but i know that not for everyone).


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Not carved in stone Mar 31, 2009

agaetis wrote:
That is f.e. CopyFlow Gold from NAPS (http://www.napsys.com/).[/quote]

God idea, I'll loook into it.

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:
However in the only one of my languages that I never studied formally, I've spotted more than my share of typos in the translation. No, I didn't fix them on my own, but asked the translator. As a matter of fact, I leave it to the translator's choice if they want me to fix obvious things or not. If they don't want it, even if it's in my translation pair, I won't add a missing period.


agaetis wrote:
And that's correct because if You work as a DTP specialist You don't need end even You should NOT add "the missing coma" because You are taking care of the DTP not LQA. I think that is correct and there is nothing special about it - i think it's obvious (but i know that not for everyone).


It depends on the project. Anything goes.

Remember that I am a translator and DTP specialist, and not the only one around. So sometimes people hire me for DTP and proofreading (in my language pair only, of course). However if they don't, they can count on me not proofreading.

I had a recent example of why I shouldn't do it. One DTP-er replaced Massachusetts (correct) with Massachussets (makes more sense, but it's wrong!) without telling anyone. Fortunately, that PM has the keenest eye for everything, and spotted it. Hell is crowded with goodwilled people.

Pozdrowienie!
(No, I don't dare to do DTP in Polish.)

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Rafał Kwiatkowski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:39
German to Polish
+ ...
It depends on the project... Apr 1, 2009

Even in I'm going forward with the DTP of PL manual i don't dare to proofread it. Firstly it wasn't my job and secondlywhy should i do something for free (i mean f.e. 30 or more pages of document)?

Respeito!
(I've did some DTP in Brasilian-Portugese (~1000 pages).)


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