Do you change fonts when translating into another alphabet?
Thread poster: Jan Sundström

Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:45
English to Swedish
+ ...
Mar 26, 2009

Hi all,

I'm curious to hear the different methods people here use:
When you translate with a CAT tool into another charset/alphabet, how do you handle the font issue?

Ie when the source text is using a custom font which doesn't support the target language.
During the CAT phase, will the CAT tool you use replace the source font with a generic display font (à la Tag Editor)?
And after cleanup, will your translation revert to the source font and display garbage chars?
Do you apply your own font to the target, and if so, do you attach the font files when delivering the document to the client?


Direct link Reply with quote

Vito Smolej
Local time: 22:45
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
There's barely any fonts left that could not handle ALL languages Mar 26, 2009

J-a-n S-ndstr-m wrote:
When you translate with a CAT tool into another charset/alphabet, how do you handle the font issue?

The question is how the client handles the question. I try always to handle the text as written in Unicode. making sure then that the fonts are not some exotic kind, I barely have any problems in this regard.

Except if I cant force the text to behave - like sticking to western-1 or similar. But then, it is NOT a question of fonts, the problem is the encoding set used.

UTF-8 Rules OK.



[Edited at 2009-03-26 16:07 GMT]

Direct link Reply with quote
Local time: 22:45
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Good question, indeed Mar 26, 2009

Since this is often necessary, I prefer using a common rather than another custom font. Of course, it's something that has to be cleared up with the client before starting the translation. In general, I'd only suggest another custom font (and send it along in such case; I suppose people who do this usually know that fonts are licenced items, too, so one should only distribute them if their licence allows it, but it doesn't hurt to mention it) if I had a font that strongly resembles the original font used, so it wouldn't change the overall design.

In my experience, the font substitution option in TE, i.e. TW, seems quite realiable (at least with CE fonts) and characters don't revert to the source font in the target file. Strange things sometimes happen while translating directly in e.g. Word, but that's a whole new story.


Direct link Reply with quote

Sergei Leshchinsky  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:45
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
If... Mar 26, 2009

... you handle XML-based documents in any CAT-tool, you can use any font you like as it is actually just on-screen font.
The font-related info is stored in the XML-tags and will be applied to the text when you save the target.

I don't care if I copy some words from concordance or any other resource and they appear in a different font or have different size, e.g. Arial in the middle of a sentence in TimesNewRoman...
I never change the font of such inserts, as I have no time to.
Everything will be in the correct font at the end anyway.

If the font in the XML-tags does not support the target language, it is the problem of the client, not you. The font can be changed globally at the end...

[Редактировалось 2009-03-26 22:02 GMT]

Direct link Reply with quote

To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Do you change fonts when translating into another alphabet?

Advanced search

Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »
You’re a freelance translator? helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search