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Poll: Do you provide Desktop Publishing (DTP) services?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 05:30
SITE STAFF
Jan 26, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you provide Desktop Publishing (DTP) services?".

This poll was originally submitted by Mustafa Mahmoud. View the poll results »



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DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:30
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
YES ... but Jan 26, 2015

I assume this means more than basic mirroring formatting of source text which I include in my translation rate.
I do provide separate DTP services, but by design, I am rather expensive, as I prefer to spend my working time translating, so I often receive inquiries but rarely get booked.


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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:30
Member (2006)
German to English
No Jan 26, 2015

Just good old translations

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:30
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No Jan 26, 2015

I do not really have the aptitude for it, although I did work at a printer's in another life, before it was all digital, and I have been on one or two very elementary courses in it.

Enough for me to be able to cooperate when text and graphics have to be coordinated, and to respect the fact that it takes real professionals.
I would have to invest in software that I would not be able to use profitably. I work very much on my own, and do not want to have too many resources lying idle for a lot of the time. So it is also a cold business decision.

I don't doubt that some people can manage to translate and provide DTP as well, but I find there are barely enough hours in the day to specialise in translation and my specialist subjects.

I gratefully let agencies and clients take care of DTP when required.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 13:30
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Likewise Jan 26, 2015

Michael Harris wrote:

Just good old translations


No time and no aptitude for DPT at all!


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:30
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
It's a hobby for me Jan 26, 2015

I've done several regular newsletters over the years, but my clients keep me too busy so I don't get to show off my talents very often.

I've taken courses in printing, layout, and design over the years, and I did book design and journal design as part of a full-time job that also included translating (about 5 years total).


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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:30
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Used to Jan 26, 2015

Many years ago when I had staff in my office in an area of Osaka populated by designers. One thing you learn when you do DTP is that good/excellent page design and typefaces, etc. makes a huge difference to how the words you create look - they can either be flat or fabulous.

In this respect, I do recommend translators to be aware of how the words they create look in print in the hands of a creative designer. Words do have impact and meaning, but design makes the message stand out.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
A superficial world Jan 26, 2015

Julian Holmes wrote:

Words do have impact and meaning, but design makes the message stand out.


A bit like my profile photo then. Same translator, prettier face = more work (tbc).


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Design is not about shallowness Jan 26, 2015

Chris S wrote:

Julian Holmes wrote:

Words do have impact and meaning, but design makes the message stand out.


A bit like my profile photo then. Same translator, prettier face = more work (tbc).


I beg to differ. Good design, whether it's for a museum gallery, a banner, a poster or a book, is about reinforcing the message, not substituting for pretty typefaces, graphics or other gimmicks.

I think translators who think design is separate from the message don't know much about the craft.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:30
English to Spanish
+ ...
Awareness Jan 26, 2015

Julian Holmes wrote:

Many years ago when I had staff in my office in an area of Osaka populated by designers. One thing you learn when you do DTP is that good/excellent page design and typefaces, etc. makes a huge difference to how the words you create look - they can either be flat or fabulous.

In this respect, I do recommend translators to be aware of how the words they create look in print in the hands of a creative designer. Words do have impact and meaning, but design makes the message stand out.


Good point, Julian. Not only should translators be aware of how the created words look in print (and on other media) in the hands of a good designer, but first in their own hands.

As translators, we should develop an awareness of how other elements on a page enhance the message or detract (and distract) from it: typefaces, margin width, negative space, readability, etc. In this day and age when the basics of good design are so easily attainable, it's inexcusable to see a translator think that one font is as good as the next for any given text.


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 07:30
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Jan 26, 2015

InDesign is present in several projects. Besides, it helps to enhace our vision on publications according to the way their were designed (font, size, images, special effects).

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xxxnrichy
France
Local time: 14:30
French to Dutch
+ ...
Yes Jan 26, 2015

DTP was my job before becoming a translator. I kept Quark and transformed Pagemaker into InDesign.

I hate when clients send me files I cannot backconvert from the CAT into their original software, so that I can have a last eye on text and the layout. This is especially true for Powerpoint where the bilingual file is often very obscure about what is really intended and sentences should be adapted or shortened.


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:30
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
So very true Jan 26, 2015

Julian Holmes wrote:

...

In this respect, I do recommend translators to be aware of how the words they create look in print in the hands of a creative designer. Words do have impact and meaning, but design makes the message stand out.


... and not only in oriental scripts and calligraphy!

We have a long and glorious history in the West too, from ancient manuscripts onwards...

In the same way as music adds an extra dimension to poetry, suitable DTP can make a good text memorable or quite literally 'colour' the way the reader takes it in.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:30
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No skill is OK, but time??? Jan 26, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

No time and no aptitude for DPT at all!


My first translation jobs were technical manuals - installation, operation and maintenance for very heavy (and rare) industrial equipment. I translated using a Parker 51 and a ruled pad. Afterwards, two extremely skilled typists put it very neatly on pieces of paper, which the three of us pasted, using glue sticks, on pages, which would be photocopied and assembled together. The year was 1973. Yes there was a computer in that company, an IBM mainframe locked up in some area that was off-limits for most mortals working there.

Later, when PageMaker came up, I had done this type of primitive 'dtp' in three companies, so the possibility of doing it alone on one computer was very welcome.

For some 20+ years I provided translation + DTP services with PageMaker. It was sad when I was requested to do it with Quark or FrameMaker, because I couldn't. More recently, Infix came up, and again I was able to provide translation + DTP on "live" PDF files, now regradless of the program used to create them.

Last week a client hired me to translate almost 100 pages of technical docs provided in "dead" (= scanned) OCR-defying PDFs, and do the DTP. I'll do it with PageMaker again, however I'll be definitely charging for both translation and DTP, i.e my time spent in each.

The problem is when I see some "desperate tranzlaters" doing "DTP" with Microsoft Word (thoroughly inadequate for it) at no charge! (I mean, merely for the per-word translation rate.)


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Mustafa Mahmoud  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 15:30
Member (2014)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Only minor tweaks Jan 26, 2015

Thanks folks for sharing your thoughts. I don't do DTP as most of you. But that doesn't include the minor (yet tricky!) format tweaks that I have to do after translation/exporting from a CAT tool, especially that my language pair is bidirectional (English Arabic). I.e., LTR to RTL, and vice versa, which sometimes requires extra effort beyond basic formatting.

However, I was trying to gain some ground by brushing up on my DTP skills to add extra revenue. I took a short course on InDesign CS3, then David Blatner's videos. But that, oh, consumes much much time. And time equals money. It is a catch-22. But I am more inclined to proceed towards translation only, especially that I already have excellent MS Word formatting knowledge. (No brag).

[Edited at 2015-01-26 20:15 GMT]


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