RE: Tools and Translation

Subject: RE: Tools and Translation
From: Bill Burns <bill_burns -at- lionbridge -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 12:23:42 -0500

Hi, Claire.

> Due to experience with FrameMaker and the fact that RoboHelp is becoming
> more compatible with Frame I am leaning toward this combination.
> However, I have to produce documents and help in multiple languages. A
> new experience for me. At the moment the two languages are Greek and
> Arabic. The future languages will most probably be European. Our
> translation house accepts RTF so producing files for translation will
> not be a problem. Do any of you vastly experienced whirlers know if
> Frame Maker's lack of Arabic support will cause me problems.
On the Frame/RoboHelp combination--you'll be able to open MIF files in
RoboHelp, but it will by no means be a simple process. You'll have to
reformat the imported files and otherwise build a complete project from the
ground up. If you're going into other languages, that means they'll have to
repeat that process, and it will be expensive and time consuming. The
Frame/WWP or Frame MIF2Go process would be much better.

As far as going to Arabic goes, you'll have issues no matter what.
Typically, the localization for Arabic has to be done using Word. RoboHelp
doesn't support Arabic, so it'll be a manual project configuration. A good
localization vendor should already have processes in place for this process.

> Are there other things I should look out for when looking for a DTP and
> Help tool for multi-lingual projects?
As much as possible, you want to have a single source and a repeatable
conversion process. That's why I recommend either WWP or MIF2Go. These tools
allow you to set up and plan for the output. When the configuration work is
finished, you can generate and regenerate the projects and get consistent
results. The time you expend goes into the project configuration, but it's
done once. With the Frame-to-RoboHelp process, you have to reformat the help
everytime you revise the files, or you have to manage changes through a
separate process. That's not a lot of fun if you're going into more than two
languages. For our clients, it would be unacceptable.

Bill Burns
Technical Communications Manager
Lionbridge Technologies, Inc.
12585 W. Explorer Dr., Suite 150
Boise, ID 83713
Phone: 208.321.4406
FAX: 208.321.4490
E-mail: bill_burns -at- lionbridge -dot- com

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