Once you have created content in one language, you might want to translate it into one or more different languages. The Developer provides functionality that facilitates this aspect of the localization process.
The Developer localization flow involves four main steps:
The first step in any localization task is always to create a duplicate of the content to be translated. The remaining steps involve the translation of different types of content and can be performed in any order, and even concurrently.
Create a Duplicate
To begin the localization process, you must first create a duplicate of the content to be translated. You do this using the Copy command and the Duplicate (selection and related) option of the Paste Special command. This creates new copies of the entire selection and all related documents, including glossaries, and updates the links so that the new parent documents link to the new child documents. The resulting documents serve as placeholders that will be overwritten with the translated content. Therefore, you need to create one duplicate of the original content for each language into which you plan to translate. For example, to translate English content into French, German, and Japanese, you need to create three separate duplicates of the original content.
For simplicity in managing translations, especially those involving multiple languages, it is recommended that you create the duplicate for each target language in a separate, clearly identified Library folder. For the example above, if the English content were an outline titled "Document Basics" stored in a folder of the same name, you might create the folders "Document Basics - FR", "Document Basics - DE", and "Document Basics - JA" and paste one duplicate outline into each folder.
A crucial aspect of localizing content is capturing the screenshots and actions of each topic in the target language. To do this, you can use the re-record option in the Topic Editor, which allows you to easily re-create the same series of actions in the new language using the original topic as a guide. You must also update the template bubble text in the topic by selecting the appropriate template for the target language from the Properties toolpane. This provides a localized version of the automatically generated text portions of a topic.
Note: The Developer provides a standard set of Default and Microsoft templates for all supported languages. Therefore, you do not need to translate template text unless you use a custom template or translate your content into an unsupported language.
Translate Custom Text
In addition to recording topic steps, you can also customize your content by adding custom bubble text, using modules and sections for organizational headings, and linking to attachments such as web pages to provide additional information. The text you produce while modifying your content in this way must also be translated for localization. The Developer provides a Localization export and import flow to assist in the translation of this custom text.
The custom text included in the Localization export/import flow depends on the document type as follows:
You can export this text in Word format for manual translation or XLIFF format for use in professional translation software that supports this format. The export results in a single file that contains a listing of all custom text in the source language that needs to be translated, divided into individual translation units, along with processing information required to ensure that each unit of text is imported correctly. During translation, you add translated text to the Word or XLIFF file so that the file includes the translated text in the target language in parallel with the original source text. After completing the translation, you then import the modified file back into the Developer, using the Import Localization command. During import, the documents that were originally exported in the source language are overwritten with the translated text provided in the Word or XLIFF file, and the Language property of these documents is updated to match the target language.
Note: Because the import process overwrites the text in the original documents, you MUST make a duplicate of the content to be translated before exporting it for localization; otherwise, you will overwrite the content in the original source language.
For a detailed discussion of this process, see Export Content for Localization and Import Localized Content.
Translate External Content and Update Glossary Links
The third type of content to translate is external material such as package and URL attachments. For example, you might link to an Excel spreadsheet or an external web site from a topic frame, or you might include an embedded graphic in a web page. Such external content is not included in the Localization export/import flow and must be translated separately. After translating such package files, graphics, and so on, you might need to update links in your translated content to ensure that they point to the appropriate targets. For example, if you translate the name of a file in a package, you must ensure that all links in the translated content are updated to reflect the new package file name.
Tip: To avoid having to update links to package files in translated content, you should apply a language-neutral naming convention for package items. You can then differentiate package files of the same name based on the name of the package in which they are contained, which can be translated without breaking any links.
After all text in your content has been translated, you should update glossary links in the translated documents. Because glossary documents are included in the duplication process and the Localization export/import flow, the appropriate glossary, including translated terms and tooltips and updated definition links, will already be assigned to each translated document. However, the links themselves are not preserved during the localization process so as to allow flexibility in the treatment of glossaries.
Note that, aside from glossary links, the only links that might need to be updated in the translated content are those to package files, which are identified, in part, by file name. For other document types, which are identified solely on the basis of Document ID, links are updated automatically when you duplicate the selected content and related documents. Therefore, as stated above, duplication should always be the first step in the localization process.
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