Formatting errors with Tag Editor for Arabic
Thread poster: paul_muc

Local time: 17:31
German to English
May 13, 2008

Hello All,

We recently hired an agency to translate an instruction manual (Word 2003 .doc file) from English into Arabic and expressly confirmed with them that they use Tag Editor so that the original formatting is retained. The agency delivered the translation as a Word file which was full of formatting errors (section numbering, button labels) and missing cross references, resulting in quite a bit of effort to correct them - the very thing we were aiming to avoid.

The agency kindly offered to repair the errors, to the tune of about 25% of the total cost of the job. They are now attempting to justify this additional cost by offering all sorts of reasons that Tag Editor always requires hand-formatting of Arabic after translation.
(Quote: "Apparently the combination of Tag Editor, Filter Settings and the Arabian language (which, in addition, is read from right to left - which can sometimes lead to the non-functioning cross references) produces a number of bugs that then have to be repaired by hand.")
Well, we already knew that Arabic is written right to left, but the rest of the sentence sounds almost as if they were quite new to the game of Arabic translation with Tag Editor.

They also noted that sometimes the Word formatting styles in the source document cannot be used for the Arabic translation since different fonts have to be used: "e.g. Arial and TimesNewRoman do not always represent the arabic characters correctly." (These two are the only fonts we use in our document templates, in the interest of compatability.)

They add: "Tag Editor is not the ideal tool for reliable formatting in Arabic."

It's interesting that they made no mention any of this at the outset when we told them why TagEditor was so important to us; we really need to maintain the original document formatting as far as possible since hand-formatting by non-Arabic speakers is not only extremely difficult but fraught with the possibility of introducing many new errors as well.

Can anyone here confirm or deny encountering problems like this with Tag Editor for Arabic translation? (If so, any pointers for preparing documents/templates for maximum compatability would be highly appreciated!) Or do you all rely on it to maintain proper formatting, just as you would when using it to translate between most major European languages?


[Edited at 2008-05-13 10:56]

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Hikmat Faraj  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:31
English to Arabic
+ ...
Tag Editor and MS Office Applications May 15, 2008


I have used Tag Editor in translating PowePoint English files. The only formatting problem I have encountered is that the slides, instead of displaying paragraph orientation in a Right to Left manner, they maintain the original English left to right orientation. This becomes a pain when you are dealing with bulleted lists in the PPT slides. Therefore I had to manually change the orientation. However, I had no problem with fonts.

Fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, and courier have Arabic counterparts with the same names.

I have not used TagEditor with Word, as Workbench usually handles that most efficiently.

Hope this sheds light on your issue.

Hikmat Faraj

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