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Your translation target files

The content from your files is translated in the Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tool component of our Translation Management System (TMS).

Working in this way enables translators to work more efficiently with your content and includes quality control features to preserve quality and consistency in your message. After your content has been translated, the final step of the process is to merge your translated content into new formatted target files. 

To do this we automatically extract the translated content from our CAT tool and merge it into a new file using the formatting from your original source file.

For example, if you originally uploaded a Microsoft Word (.docx) file in English (UK) for translation into French (France) and German (Germany) you will receive two new Microsoft Word (.docx) translation target files back – one in French (France) and one in German (Germany).

You will receive an email when your translation target files are ready for you to download from our online ordering system.

Why your target files might look different from your source files

Depending on the formatting of your document and the relative length of the target language you may find that some text does not fully display in text boxes, tables, pages, etc.

This is because content translated into different languages may experience text expansion or text contraction.

  • Text expansion occurs where a higher number of words or characters are required in the target language e.g. When translating English into a Romance language (French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, etc.) the target language text will generally be up to 30% longer than the English source.
  • Text contraction occurs where a lower number of words or characters are required in the target language e.g. Asian target languages often require less space because their individual text characters tend to cover complex expressions and meaning.

Text expansion and contraction vary per language and can have a significant impact on the final visual design of your content with either too much text crammed in, or too much white space.

Font support and your target languages

Not all fonts provide full language support. As your target file is automatically formatted based on your source file, your translation will have the same font as your source file. 

Where a font does not support your target language, text in your file may appear as square boxes, icons or text in brackets. Simply changing the font in your target file to one that supports your target language will resolve this. 

To prevent this issue you may want to consider drafting your source content in a multilingual font that supports all your target languages. 

If you would like to discuss font support and the options best suited for your content or automated font substitution for selected target languages please contact your Account or Project Manager.

Formatting and Desktop Publishing

For documents where the layout is important (such as Microsoft PowerPoint presentations or documents that have been created using desktop publishing software such as Adobe InDesign) you’ll want to review and update the layouts and fonts of your translated target files to ensure that all fonts and content are correctly displayed on pages and within text boxes and images.

You can either do this yourself within your organisation or you can ask us to perform these adjustments for you by adding on our Desktop Publishing service when you place your order.

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