When DTP Goes Global It’s Time For LSP Experts

In business there’s a natural instinct to be as efficient and cost effective as possible. After all, when you’re talking about using company profits for creating new marketing or communication materials, big expenditures aren’t something anyone wants to see. It’s an especially understandable concern when it comes to materials that are supposed to represent the company’s interests and voice around the world. You want to ensure the corporate identity and voice remain consistent, so whether it is someone in Japan or in Brazil, when they see material from your company, the identity will be strong in their minds.

This is one of the reasons why, when it comes to DTP, or Desk Top Publishing, some decision makers will face the temptation to simply let their graphic designers handle the duties of localization. After all, when you’re looking at a brochure or pamphlet that is more about design elements, with only a few pieces of text, isn’t it easier to simply “cut n’ paste” a translation into the existing design? This is what graphic designers do; arrange elements for consumption and publication, so technically, doesn’t this still fall under their area of expertise? Aren’t they better suited to doing this than a Language Service Provider?

The answer is somewhat “yes,” but mostly “no.”

Obviously a Language Service Provider first and foremost provides a language service. That means that their area of expertise is ensuring that the content you have is understood by an audience once it is translated from your language to theirs. But that means that LSPs also have knowledge and experience when it comes to how graphic elements are consumed in media by the country are targeting.

There are grammar considerations to take into account as well, such as how to break up and distribute text, not to mention the proper way to arrange text of other symbol based languages such as Chinese, Arabic and Hindi.

For example, if you get a translation of your content for a brochure from English to Japanese, your graphic designer may simply arrange the translated content on the brochure in the way that is the most pleasing for a Western sensibility. The problem here is that the Japanese language in written form is read from right to left. If your graphic designer simply arranges a Kanji translation in the accustomed Western way, it is creating an unnecessary barrier for the Japanese audience, putting the cover on the “back.” In addition there are grammar considerations to take into account as well, such as how to break up and distribute text, not to mention the proper way to arrange text of other symbol based languages such as Chinese, Arabic and Hindi.

A professional Language Service Provider will have the linguistic resources on hand to ensure that if you hand over the materials for desk top publication, they will have the designers on staff to work with the assets in an experienced, professional manner. But they will also have the language staff that works with designers to make sure the cultural and linguistic conventions are observed while maintaining the integrity of your message.

Even when it comes to bringing over smaller communication material to another country, you should always entrust that aspect of your DTP needs to an LSP. It will mean a secure, professional transition from your language to the country you want to reach out to.

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