Services | 29.07.2009

FrameMaker S-Tagger/Story Collection

If you are considering creating a document which will be distributed to a number of markets in multiple languages, it is worth thinking carefully about the software you use, as this choice may be able to reduce your translation and typesetting costs at a later stage. Here Dave Williams, Production Specialist for The Translation People, examines which software can significantly reduce the cost of your document translation.

FrameMaker and Interleaf were two of the first pieces of DTP software to have a story collection feature for SDL Trados.

In brief, the story collection feature is an extraction/export software tool which collates all the formatting information in the document and provides a tagged text file which can be used for translation in Trados. The major benefit of this method of translation is that the translated document requires significantly less DTP work upon re-importing into the source software.

When translating in Interleaf or FrameMaker, S-Tagger is an important part of the translation process. It retains all document formatting and styles throughout the translation process so that when the S-Tagger file is imported back into the document, all of the document’s layout and style is retained.

Story collection software is also available in other industry standard software suites, including InDesign and Quark. The import/export process differs slightly but the result is the same.

If a document is to be translated in the old fashioned way, an additional document is created by the translator, who translates into a new file usually a Word document. This text would then be manually copied and pasted from Word into the source artwork. Due to format considerations such as typeface, bold, italic, colour and text size, this can only be done in segments. As you can imagine, this can take some time.

In contrast, the story collector will automatically consider the text’s formatting individuality during the import process by reading the information stored in the tags. This is where the time/cost saving occurs as the typesetter does not need to reformat the translation once it has been imported back into the software.

Often translated versions of a text are longer or shorter than the original; accommodating this in the translated document is where the post translation import process requires the expertise of a production specialist. The amount of time taken to complete this process is document dependant, as text and or graphic heavy documents have less white space for the extra text to flow into. This requires DTP manipulation for it to fit and to consider the aesthetics of the document.

Whilst story collection software doesn’t eliminate the need for DTP, it does considerably reduce the time taken to produce a quality localised document. This time/cost saving can then be passed on to the client.

As different languages have a vast array of type faces, certain considerations and requirements need to be addressed for the story collection process to be successful. The Translation People have an experienced multi-language DTP studio that will be able to offer advice on the best way to tackle your individual project. Contact us now for further information.

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