In medium to big-sized companies manuals, brochures, presentations etc.
are usually drafted in English first. This work can be done
internally, but can also be outsourced, mainly in the
Everything is running smoothly and the document looks wonderful. The
user instructions are excellent! Sales will no doubt rocket!
Then, they decide to translate the document. However, the translated text needs to fit into the original
layout. That is when problems arise. No matter how wonderful the manual, brochure or
presentation looks, no thought has been put into the translation
A Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian or German
text can easily be 20-35% longer than the original English
That means that 20-35% of your original document should be
white space in order to allow for the extra text in other
languages. If that is not the case, you will see the desktop
publisher struggling to get everything in place. Often, the font size is
The translated manual, brochure or presentation looks nothing like the
The same text but in
French is clearly longer than the original text in English.
We have not spoken about software developers yet, who
set up the whole user
in very compact English and therefore demand that translators do not to make the
translation longer than a specific number of characters of pixels.
If the project was badly prepared, this will result in often
in English, almost
double the size in German. Do you take this into account?
Or would you
rather see "Wiederh. S. d. Kennw."?
The mission is clear.
Make sure your source document or software
has enough room for the translation.
It means that, in the end, you will have fewer worries and less work.
Do you have no idea of how the target language will impact the
length of the text?
Ask your professional translator.
He or she will be perfectly able to
tell you what to take into account in your source document.
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