Package Insert 37
Interesting facts and figures for customers and partners of mt-g.
June 2016
Services
The road to a successful DTP project – step by step
Desktop publishing (DTP) projects are amongst our customers' most challenging projects because of their complexity and the number of parties involved in them. The large number of responsibilities and special requirements means that it is not always easy to maintain an oversight of and keep track of all steps in the process. So, in this article we would like to break down these processes and show you what happens to your documents as soon as you give them to mt-g for translation and subsequent desktop publishing.

Before translation
As soon as you hand your DTP project over to us, our experts in Ulm prepare your job. Your project manager checks whether we have all of the necessary data. This means having files in open, editable formats (e.g. InDesign, FrameMaker, etc.) and includes the fonts used and the graphics, illustrations, photos or links which the files contain, for example. If everything is complete, our DTP specialists take over from there and prepare the data for translation. Amongst other things, the document will be segmented and the layout amended, indents and tabs edited, non-breaking spaces set and texts extracted from graphics. Finally, we convert the data into an exchange format (e.g. *.idml, *.mif) which can be read by CAT (computer assisted translation) tools so that these data can be input into our CAT systems. However, one more important step needs to take place before the data can be imported successfully: the CAT tool has to be correctly configured specifically for each customer and each project and the subsequent function check has to be carried out.

Translating in the CAT tool
Once the documents for translation have been successfully imported into the CAT tool, our medical translators start with their work. The source text is translated and, depending on our customers' wishes, may also be revised by a second native speaker. As soon as our project managers receive the (revised) translation, our mandatory internal QA check is carried out: a visual check of completeness, numbers, units of measure and product names as well as a check of compliance with specific customer specifications. Not until the translation has been checked and is in order will the actual foreign-language typesetting start.

After translation: foreign-language typesetting
To be able to continue processing the files, the translated file is converted from the exchange format into the original format. As the layout will have changed following translation into the relevant target language, our DTP experts will adjust several elements so that the layout is also retained in the translation. This includes, for example, adjusting fonts to display country-specific characters correctly or changing the font size and line spacing. This may be needed to offset possible language expansion, i.e. when the translated content takes up more space than the original. Our experts do, of course, take care to maintain a healthy balance between expansion, adjustment and formatting. Because not all parties involved in the project have the relevant DTP software, approval PDFs are created so that parts that still need to be amended can be marked and corrected in a subsequent visual check.
Our customers very often wish our technical translators to proofread the text one last time. This assistance from our translators is very important particularly when it comes to languages which do not employ the Latin alphabet. At this stage, they focus on formal aspects of the translation layout. This includes the typeface, correct hyphenation, as well as illustrations and legends. Anomalies are marked and, after being checked by mt-g's quality assurance staff, are passed on to the relevant DTP experts for correction.
Afterwards, the document undergoes a final check by us prior to delivery. For a few of our customers, we also coordinate the customer's in-house release process at their foreign branch offices/subsidiaries. When doing so, our procedures are strictly dictated by your individual wishes and needs.

Prior to publication / Prior to printing
Now, the onus is on the customer to approve printing of the final files. This ensures that language- and country-specific terminology/concepts and the content as a whole fulfil the customer's intended objective for publication and/or printing.

Has your curiosity been aroused? We have even more interesting information about mt-g's DTP services for you. To find out, read our article Successful planning of DTP services, write to us or give us a call. We're here for you.

Bernd Mayer
Member of Management Head of Customer and Project Management
berndmayer(at)mt-g.com
Tel. +49 731 176397-30
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