Arabic translation and DTP in InDesign
The translation of manuals to Arabic also implies their DTP, a costly and complicated process when working with Arabic, as is the case of other languages which are written from right to left.
Multilingual instruction manuals in QuarkXpress
In the case of Sammic
, a manufacturer of catering equipment, for which we have already carried out several translation and DTP projects to Arabic in the past quarter, the original manuals had been created in QuarkXpress. Fifteen years ago, the position which is currently held by the DTP programme InDesign was held by QuarkXpress. QuarkXpress was the undisputed leader with a powerful and user-friendly software. However, the company's aggressive policy to capitalise on its predominant position on the market gradually paved the way for InDesign. Since then, InDesign has continued to grow, becoming the most popular DTP package available today. Without a doubt, we recommend this package to our clients as a professional solution for the creation and design of leaflets and manuals, and it offers a significant amount of resources for their adaptation and translation to other languages. To ensure the smoothest process as possible, the first step was to convert the QuarkXpress files to InDesign, achieving excellent results.
Two different perspectives
Within the field of multilingual DTP
, the DTP of languages which are written in the opposite direction to the source text is a major challenge. In the case of the translation of a manual from English to Arabic, it is necessary to see the world from a different angle. It is really quite surprising to see how manuals in Arabic are read from the "back cover". In the case of InDesign, the ME version of the software comes with a plug-in to make the initial change of the pages and text boxes.
The case of the images: loop-the-loop
It is extremely complicated to adapt the images and, in many cases, they are not adapted as it would be extremely expensive to do so. When designing a leaflet or manual the perspective of the photographs may be different in the case of right-to-left languages. The problem arises when that perspective plays a role in the design and it is thus necessary to change the layout of the text and photographs to adapt them to Arabic. The process used in the case of the product photographs of Sammic's manuals was to reverse the image horizontally, thus avoiding having to take the photograph from the opposite perspective, and enabling us to perfectly integrate the photograph into the right-to-left design.