I sure can. I have been managing localization since 1995. I've answered your
questions and amd sending you (direct to your email address) a 24 page book I
wrote that tells you about everything you will need to know to get started.
It's called Localization and FrameMaker and was originally a presentation I
made at the FrameUsers conference in November 2000 in San Diego.
After reading the booklet, feel free to write and ask questions.
BTW, you will probably get a lot of responses on the FM list that say "Use my
translation vendor." Don't! Recommendations are nice but you need to screen
and hire a localization vendor exactly the same way you would screen and hire a
tech writer. The vendor has to be right for the job you have. They must
understand the technology of your business to translate accurately. They need
to know and understand the terminology. But that is all explained in detail in
See more below.
Hitachi Data Systems
>From: Harold Winberg <harold.winberg at forceprotection.net>
>Sent: Nov 6, 2007 6:05 AM
>To: framers at lists.frameusers.com
>Can anyone tell me about translation? I am currently interested in
>translating technical manuals and parts lists that are in Frame 7.2 from
>English to Arabic and French.
> DG: First, the correct word is localization, abbreviated L10N (L + 10
> letters + N) It's is way more than just translation. It takes things like
> date formats, money types, and a dozen other things into account. The book
> contains a detailed explanation.
>I have a few questions:
>How would this normally be done? e
DG: It is normally done by an LSP - Localization Service Provider. LSP is the
localization industry name for localization vendor.
Would it be done in a separate program and then put into Frame?
DG: Well, sort of. The LSP converts the FM file to MIF. Then the linguist
uses a software application called the Translator's Workbench (or other similar
tool) to translate the file. Then they put the translated MIF back into FM,
clean it up, and send it to you. Note that that information is _very_ basic.
There is actually a lot more to it than that.
But if you meant that you take your file and run it through a translation
program and put it back in FM, Absolutely Not. You cannot use a computer to
accurately translate technical information. A human translator (called a
"linguist") is required to do it accurately. Some linguists do use CAT
(computer assisted translation) but they always check the translations
themselves to make sure it is correct. And then a second linguist checks the
work of the first linguist. Anyone who tells you that machine translation by
itself is OK does not know what they are talking about.
>What is the best SW translation program? Can you customize it?
DG: There are several CAT programs, and some are trainable, that is, you can
teach it your terminology, but that is not good enough. SERIOUSLY - Do Not
attampt to translate techdocs with a computer alone. You will get a lot of
garbage and your customers will not be happy.
>Are there electronic technical dictionaries out there?
DG: Sure. Wikipedia and several others. There are also "free" online
translation programs like Alta Vista, BabelFish and more, but remember, you get
what you pay for.
>How is cost normally calculated? - per word, project etc??
DG: Combination of several things, including:
per source doc word, depending on the target language.
per page for DTP (desktop publishing to clean up the FM file after
per item for graphics translation.
Several other things. Too many to explain here. See the book. It explains
it in detail AND gives you prices.
>What are some good companies for this??
Several are listed in the back of the book. You can google any of the
following terms and get a big list of them.
localization service provider
BTW, every vendor will tell you that they can do the job for you but I
guarantee that not all of them can. The book has a list of 20 questions for
I've long since lost count of how many Framers have the book. Maybe 2 or 3
thousand. (One of these days I need to update the book and maybe even charge a
nickel for it. :-)
Hope this helps.