Importance of DTP in your work??
Thread poster: Jose Ruivo

Jose Ruivo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:51
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Nov 3, 2003

Hi All,

IF you do the DTP of your translations, how important would you say that is for to gaining those jobs?

Thanks,
Jose B. Ruivo


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:21
English to Tamil
+ ...
It is very important Nov 4, 2003

If the client is able to give you editable soft copy, there is no botheration with DTP. If he gives a hard copy with a lot of page layout complications, the DTP skill is very important. And he will have to pay extra for it. Our rates for translation are just what we charge for the translation and not other decorations. Keep this in mind. Yesterday one gentleman approached me for some work of this nature. He said that he has a DTP expert and all I have to do was sit with him and coordinate my translation with the DTP work. I was ready for this and quoted him hourly rate. He wanted me to stipulate the number of words that I will translate in one hour. I told him that it depended on the DTP expert too and as he is an unknown variable, I will not not be able to give any figures on this account. That's right. Talk everything beforehand to avoid later heartburns. By the way the gentleman did not agree and that was the end of the matter. Yet I am sure he will come back. No matter even if he does not come back.
Regards,
N.Raghavan

Jose Ruivo wrote:

Hi All,

IF you do the DTP of your translations, how important would you say that is for to gaining those jobs?

Thanks,
Jose B. Ruivo


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:51
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
good extra service for direct clients Nov 4, 2003

Being able to ofer DTP as well as translation services is a good "plus" when dealing with direct clients, who are generally very happy if you can return to them a file ready for final output.

When working for agencies, it is usually not required, as they have a DTP department to take care of that and follow their clients specs.

However, be careful: DTP work can be quite demanding, you must know your tools well, solve any font or image problems yourself, and be confident that what you deliver really is ready for final output. It's a lot of extra responsibility.

As with everything else (including of course translation), do not offer services that go beyond your actual skills and expertise.


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Jose Ruivo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:51
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Which software most frequently used? Nov 4, 2003

Hi Roberta (an anyone else),

Which DTP software are more often required to use in, say, translation of long user manuals?

Thank you,

Jose B. Ruivo


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:51
Dutch to English
+ ...
DTP is very important Nov 4, 2003

I usually ensure the DTP of the documents I deliver is done but only if I can use the tools.

It ensures my customers keep on coming back. They know they will get a finished product.


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:51
English to Polish
+ ...
Two different topics Nov 4, 2003

Are we talking about the actual DTP, or are we talking about the formatting of a document?

DTP is the preparation of a document of printing - margins, colour matching, page layout etc. It's heady stuff, best left to professionals, unless you really know your Illustrator or Publisher well. And even then, this is a lot of work completely unrelated to translation, for which people get a lot of money.

Formatting is "merely" getting font sizes and types, margins, tables, bold, italic underline, headers, footers, etc., all done in Word, or not, if you get a soft copy which you just overwrite in your translation. The formatting of a document can also be quite complicated. If that's the case, I ask the client - do you want the translation to look like the original? If the answer is yes, the price goes up (but I usually add an amount to the invoice. I don't increase the unit price). If the answer is no, I do a minimum of formatting just so I don't get lost if the text is long.

I just finished a job working off a paper copy with some formatting needed to make it look more or less like the original. I just rounded my invoice up to the nearest convenient number (reasonable!) to account for the extra work (I scanned two or three drawings, reproduced some tables, put in a table of contents etc. My client knows and accepts this.

Hope my rambling was helpful. You really need to distinguish between the two terms!

Pawel Skalinski


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:51
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
common DTP software Nov 4, 2003

Jose Ruivo wrote:
...
Which DTP software are more often required to use in, say, translation of long user manuals?
...


User guides are often done in FrameMaker; other common DTP applications are PageMaker, QXPress, InDesign (although these 2 are normally used for shorter documents, like brochures or magazines). Some manuals are also done in Word (but I think that's stretching it a bit). Graphics (and sometimes tables) are often done in Illustrator or FreeHand. Photoshop comes in handy to refine screenshots and images.

Before embarking on DTP activities, you must ensure you know your tools really well, you get and understand any instructions or specs from the client, you have all the necessary files including fonts and images. If your files will be used for final printed output, you should also be aware of any print-related issues.

You would normally work on templates or files already formatted by the client and used for the source language, which makes it easier, but you should also know what you can do to achieve copyfitting of text (are you allowed to add extra pages? if not, to what degree are you allowed to edit text styles to fit all your text in? target text is usually longer that source text).

As others have pointed out, it is an extra activity on top of translation, which should be budgeted (time and fee) separately. And again, it requires specific skills and knowledge.


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Jose Ruivo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:51
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just translation related Nov 4, 2003

Pawel, my interest in DTP only goes as far as making my translation services more attractive to prospective clients, and not necessary end-clients (in my country). I'm thinking mainly of translation agencies (abroad). . .

Roberta, thank you for the extra information!

I've used Framemaker before, and was uterly disapointed with it's spellchecking capabilities - I usually got an English source text, which I could not format into Portuguese as a whole, for spellchecking purposes, and neither the client for whom I was working, nor the company who sold me the software, were capable of troubleshooting this for me, which is really a "no brainer" in applications like MS Word, for instance . . .

I stoped using any DTP software years ago, and really can't see very well the point of having doing so, if you can export the original into a format that Trados TagEditor can use, and then import back the translation into whatever DTP sofware is being used . . .

I guess someone has to check, and "correct" the final result into the DTP package, I'd just rather not having to be myself to do so :-;

Thank you to all who responded so far!

Regards,
Jose B. Ruivo


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:51
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
FM spellchecking + DTP and agencies Nov 5, 2003

Jose Ruivo wrote:

... was uterly disapointed with it's spellchecking capabilities - I usually got an English source text, which I could not format into Portuguese as a whole, for spellchecking purposes, . . .


In properly formatted FM file, all text is formatted with styles, so you would need to edit the styles, setting them to the language you need. Note that the language is not only used for spellchecking, but also - very important in layout - for hyphenation. Text might follow different flows, so you need to edit the styles; a Select all on the text will probably not select all your text.


I guess someone has to check, and "correct" the final result into the DTP package, I'd just rather not having to be myself to do so :-;


Well, you answered yourself.
With agencies it is usually not necessary to touch any layout files, as these are handled internally. Some might ask you to be involved in the DTP linguistic check stage: in this case the safest route is for the agency to supply you the layout PDF files; you can insert annotations in the PDF file about any changes/corrections that are needed, and then the agency's DTP department will implement these in the layout files. It is always best to focus on what you can do well, and let others handle what they can do well.


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Jose Ruivo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:51
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Nobody is born a pro Nov 5, 2003

Hi Roberta,

What one know knows well, there was a time when one didn't have a clue about, and then learned about it.

Thank you for all the replies!

Best regards,
Jose B. Ruivo


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:51
English to Spanish
+ ...
Exactly Nov 5, 2003

Jose Ruivo wrote:
What one know knows well, there was a time when one didn't have a clue about, and then learned about it.

First, you learn how to do it. Then, you work and charge for it.

What just doesn't make sense is to learn while you work. That's a disservice to the client, if nothing else.


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Jose Ruivo  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:51
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Course intended Nov 5, 2003

Dear Dyran,

O intend to take a course, and then have bsomen practice, in the DTP software I chose to offer services in, after I've had the training.

Regards,
Jose B. ruivo


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