using DITA format to translate
Thread poster: Paola Bisio

Paola Bisio
Italy
Local time: 19:08
Member (2011)
English to Italian
+ ...
May 29

Hi All,
I recently got to know that many translators are using DITA format (xml) to translate.
Not knowing this tool properly I am wondering how this can be used for translation unless DITA document is imported in a CAT Tool.
Considering UI translation I do not think importing such type of file in a CAT Tool can be helpful in visualising the interface screens where translations must be applied.
Please if you know more about this, how can DITA format be used for translation, please let me know.
Thank you very much.
Paola


 

Rodolfo Raya  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:08
English to Spanish
Translating DITA May 29

Hello Paola,

DITA is a great format for writing documentation. It has brilliant features that allow content reuse, something good for writers and not so good for those that have to translate.

Translating DITA in a CAT tool is not so easy, as most tools don't support this format in the right way. Some of the issues you can find are illustrated in this article: Selecting a Translation Tool for DITA.

Hope this helps,
Rodolfo


 

Paola Bisio
Italy
Local time: 19:08
Member (2011)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you May 29

Thank you very much!
Paola


 

SDL Community  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:08
English
How important is this in practice? May 29

Rodolfo Raya wrote:

Translating DITA in a CAT tool is not so easy, as most tools don't support this format in the right way. Some of the issues you can find are illustrated in this article: Selecting a Translation Tool for DITA.



Hello Rodolfo,

In practice do you really think this is a problem? Perhaps it makes more sense for the DITA authors to to use conref attributes a different way. The value of the conref might be coming from a different file (and in most cases we see it actually is), so there’s no guarantee that you will have access to it even if you could resolve it. If it needs to be made understandable why not include the actual text into the attribute of the ph tag? But even here the ph element value which is using the conref attribute might be conditional so even then you might not know how this would be resolved in the end.

How real are the problems you have created with the example files in that article?

Another interesting point is that in both memoQ and Studio these values would be stored as placeholders in the TM whereas you store them as text. Doesn't that limit the value you get from using a TM and a conref attribute in the first place? It's common to see similar sentences with different values pulled in through the conref attribute and we would provide 100% matches for any of them. I'm not familiar enough with Swordfish to know for sure but based on the TMX provided in the article it looks as though you would see a fuzzy match every time this conref variable changed. Is this correct?

Regards

Paul


 

Rodolfo Raya  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:08
English to Spanish
Supporting DITA May 29

Hello Paul,

Resolving context using @conref or @conkeyref (when working with DITA keys) is essential for doing a proper translation. If the translator doesn't see the referenced content, there may be problems with gender or plurals.

The content resolution problem is so common that I was asked to write a tool that handles this issue for very large corporations that use DITA. Fluenta, https://www.maxprograms.com/products/fluenta.html , is used to generate XLIFF that is then translated using SDL Trados Studio or MemoQ.

At the DITA Translation Subcommittee at OASIS we analyzed real world cases and discovered that proper handling of DITA sources can save up to 30% in translation costs.

Storing placeholders in the TM doesn't help. Referenced content changes with the use of DITAVAL files and the only solution that works is content adjust via reference resolution. If you don't do it, you may have gender or number mismatches.

DITA keys were introduced in DITA 1.2. It is a great feature that improves writing but complicates translation. This is not covered in the article I posted.

This problem is not new, is widely known in the DITA community. Solutions like Fluenta or the free DITA-XLIFF Roundtrip plugin for the DITA OpenToolkit are the ones that work.

Swordfish inherits the conversion filter from Fluenta but it can't use DITAVAL files for content filtering. It works on most cases but sometimes it is not enough.

Regards,
Rodolfo


 


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