Translating Graphics Files Demystified

Translating graphics files demistyfied - caption against a backgroud photo of male hands on a white computer keybord.

Translating Graphics Files Demystified

Translating graphics files used to be a drag. If your work involves dealing with folders, booklets, catalogues, instructions or other products based on graphic files, you most likely know how many precious hours it can take to enter different localized versions into one file, or to create such materials in a dozen or so languages from scratch. And time is not the only pitfall – there is always risk of making mistakes that could otherwise be easily avoided with the use of state-of-the-art translation solutions.

CAT tools support translating graphics files

Computer Aided Translation tools (or CATs) are programs and applications that for a linguist are what Photoshop or Illustrator are for a graphic designer. Not only do they make the translation process more efficient and less time-consuming, but also come with modules (and plugins) that let translators maintain consistency within the text as they work.
However, what could be seen as the biggest advantage of CATs as regards translating graphics files is the option to edit almost all existing formats.

The best tools work with hundreds of different files, including numerous popular graphic formats. This way translators are able to do their job directly in a file prepared by a graphic designer or a DTP specialist. Such a method allows for cutting the time allotted to DTP by as much as 90%. The era of copy-pasting is falling into oblivion. And no one will miss it! After all, this method is highly monotonous and involves the risk of making simple mistakes (such as copying the content only partially, or mixing up different language versions).

Keep source formatting intact

When working on graphic files, we can easily keep the source formatting, too. As a result, the DTP specialist is given an almost ready file, and only needs to check whether the translated texts aren’t covered by images, as may sometimes happen – mostly when the translation is longer than the original.

What graphics projects benefit the most?

Booklets, instructions, folders – but not only. Virtually any material prepared in a program such as Adobe InDesign could serve as an example. CAT tools are a great solution for manufacturers and publishers of board and card games as well. Game contents, such as boards, cards, instructions or boxes, combine images and text – so they are most probably created in graphic programs.

Translating graphics files with CAT tools – a summary

In a nutshell, the use of CAT tools in graphics files and projects:

  • helps eliminate mistakes that inevitably happen when copy-pasting,
  • lets you reduce time and resources by 90% at the DTP stage,
  • allows you to keep the original formatting.

What technical issues in multilingual projects do you encounter?
Let us know in the comment section!

Author: Szymon Neubauer-Vasquez


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