RE: Arabic text in multilingual manual

Subject: RE: Arabic text in multilingual manual
From: "Mike Sawyer" <mike -at- sawyerhome -dot- net>
To: "'voxwoman'" <voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2012 12:45:27 -0600

That's a good idea, I think--I proposed as much a year and a half ago, when
I first started, and it went over like a lead balloon. A lot of players have
changed since then, though, so maybe it's time to re-address this idea.



Thanks for the thoughts!

Mike



Mike Sawyer

mike -at- sawyerhome -dot- net



From: voxwoman [mailto:voxwoman -at- gmail -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 5:17 PM
To: Mike Sawyer
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Arabic text in multilingual manual



Since the book is an electronic PDF, would it be possible to create each
language version in a separate PDF file and then bundle them in a PDF
Portfolio where the user can select the book in the appropriate language
from a landing page? That avoids all bizarre pagination issues, and lets
each user feel like the company is paying attention to their individual
needs.

In American Jewish sacred texts presented as books, the right-hand page is
typically the English translation of the Hebrew appearing on the left-hand
page. The book's pagination and binding follow normal English conventions
(bound on the left, pagination front to back).

-Wendy




On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 12:39 PM, Mike Sawyer <mike -at- sawyerhome -dot- net> wrote:

This is a pretty specific question about Arabic that (I think) mostly tech
writers would encounter, not other types of writers, so here goes...



The issue: Most of my client's manuals (big or small) are translated into
several languages, but they're not distributed individually--the several
languages are combined into a single "book" (PDF). Arabic is usually one of
the languages used, and the only language that is right-to-left.

The questions/problems: In the case of multilingual books, where each
language is in its own "section," what's the most common/accepted way to
integrate Arabic? Can Arabic be placed in sections just like the other
languages, with pagination continuing as before, or is it usually moved to
the back so that the back cover could act as a "front cover" for the Arabic
reader? Should it have its own pagination scheme? It gets complicated
because the Table of Contents would, understandably, need to show all
sections, so the reader would need to be able to easily find the correct
page number, even in Arabic.

Other thoughts: I'm reluctant to totally reverse pagination in only one
section for fear of the browsing order of pages no longer being intuitive.
Other than Arabic, laying out the little quick setup booklets is pretty
straightforward; if Arabic takes more work, it takes more work, but if
there's an acceptable easier way, or if any of you could tell me what's the
conventional approach to such manuals, I would hugely appreciate it.



A complication: in some booklets, the translated setup information comes at
the front of the guide, followed by untranslated regulatory information at
the back. An engineer is having me move the Arabic to the back, after the
regulatory section, so a right-to-left reader, treating the book like a
right-to-left book, would encounter Arabic first. The TOC looks wacky, as a
result.

Mike


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References:
Arabic text in multilingual manual: From: Mike Sawyer
Re: Arabic text in multilingual manual: From: voxwoman

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