Consider Design in Translation

Due to the existence of localization and translation, design has undergone a noticeable revolution. I was having a conversation with my friend about the films we’d seen together, and the topic came to ‘international market’. The American film industry that is based in Hollywood is producing films having the distinct American feel in them.

The Hollywood studios realized that they have been missing many large audiences because they are producing more American films. Thus, they began considering international audiences and trying to do well in the foreign as well as domestic markets with a few changes. That results in such quality films that have more special effects, fewer dialogues and more international actors rather than 100% of America.

Nothing is wrong with that, because, it reflects a movement in design and typesetting that requires more easy and international in the case of translation tasks.

The Translation Format

Typesetting is considered art for translation. Due to the use of computers, most of the work has become automatic, do not need to calculate the kerning and leading themselves any more. The design must be a major consideration for any content or electronic product, and increasing designs are made to translate more easily. For example, in the past, a textbook was published in America, would be published in English language and if anyone wanted to translate it into another language would have to do it from scratch. In this digital age, though, many content writers and publishers are trying to their content and another type of text out in all the possible markets. Translating something that is designed completely for a single language may result in bad layouts as compared with text, and even does not fit in the available space. What result would you expect? Some rules for layouts and designers that are somehow generic and can be adopted for a wide variety of languages and cultures.

Rules for Design

This novel approach for design has the same philosophy as that for movies; just keep it simple and leave space for adaptability.

White Space: It is used to deprecate pages look bare and empty. Today, however, it has been thought that white space provides translation professionals room to increase text boxes, to fit the translated content.

Keep Design Elements Light: Before, some things like textbooks were designed very. They would have many elements like text boxes for multiple information types. This gives beautiful but complicated outputs that were complex to translate. The new strategy is KISS, that means Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Try to Avoid Columns: If there are more columns, you will have less room to work with.

These are some of the changes that have improved the design in typesetting, but, there are many more and more changes that you may notice.

There is not a lot of information about the topic, but looking at websites, it seems to be simply translated into other languages rather than localized or internationalized, and they design remains the same. The important thing we need to keep in mind is that we design for humans and, thus, we need to understand the design and targeted culture very well.




Maryum is a freelance writer and IT Professional living in Pakistan. Her technical and transcription blogs about software solutions have been published on various websites. With her hands on experience in translation tools like CATMATE, OMEGAt and TRADOS and advisor of technological tools for big transcription and translation projects. Maryum has the capability of delivering high-quality knowledge in just a few words on her articles and blogs.

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