RE: Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign

Subject: RE: Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign
From: "Sarah Stegall" <sstegall -at- bivio -dot- net>
To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 09:21:18 -0700

Ken, if these manuals are being written in China by engineers whose
native language is not English, you have bigger problems than what
software to use. A text should always be translated INTO the
translator's native tongue. Your hotshots in China should write their
manuals in Chinese, and then get a translator whose native tongue is
English to translate into English. If you go outside the company for
this, get a translator who is accredited (US) or certified (non-US) for
this work. The best use of your Chinese compadres is as reviewers; it
would be much better for them to review the English translation (and,
naturally, their own Chinese version) for accuracy.

I have run into the Indesign/Framemaker problem before, and it is a
separate issue. As pertains to translation, however, your best bet is
for the text to be saved as ASCII text files, which can then be pulled
into your layout program. This is especially the case when translating
to and from a double-byte (Asian) language, because the fonts take up
less room in English. A layout that may take a page in Chinese may take
half a page in English. Your translator should not have to futz around
with layout problems; let him or her concentrate on the text alone, and
you worry about layout. Let me tell you that requiring a translator to
know Indesign, Frame, Illustrator or any other program more
sophisticated than Word will easily double your costs.

I've supervised many translation projects, both in European and Asian
languages. I also know Mandarin, Spanish and French myself. I can tell
you that translation of technical materials is far, far more complicated
than just which software to use. Make the translation part easy on
yourself, and stick to text files which you, here in the US, can pull
into your preferred layout program.

Good luck.

Sarah
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References:
Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign: From: Ken Poshedly
RE: Pro's and Con's -- FrameMaker vs InDesign: From: Pinkham, Jim

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