Return to pictography has become almost real. Nowadays we are flooded with lots of content. We are surrounded with images on the Internet, in streets, on TV and in any other place. These photos, graphics and even emoticons are only topped up with words. But is there a way to make them usable worldwide?
It seems that the less the text, the less work the translator will have to do. Sometimes it is actually the case. However, the translator not only renders the content, but also has to localize it to make it fit the cultural context and to give it the right form. Here graphic designers or other specialists dealing with image processing software will be of help.
Marketing and advertising – these can’t do without images
These are areas in which images appear most often. Everything that is associated with advertising is prepared nowadays in a graphic form. All over the world, we can see posters or leaflets which are often identical as long as graphics are concerned. What makes them differ is the language version only. When this kind of content is translated, it is essential to remember that the text is not the only element that needs to be adapted to the addressee’s language. It also happens that specialists adapt also graphics to make them evoke desirable associations in a given cultural setting.
Just as advertising slogans are adapted to evoke desirable emotions in the addressee, the same may be done to the image. Here the translator and graphic processing specialists are indispensable. That is why it is a good idea to provide the translator with all materials and not only the text. Even if your company wants to do the DTP on its own, the translator should see all materials before he or she proceeds to translation. When the whole material is available, the translator can assess whether it is it is necessary to adapt the graphics as well. By doing so you can be sure that the message of translated marketing materials will be the same as that of the source material.
Infographics, which have been taking over the Internet for a few years, are a great example of such materials. They are prepared not only for marketing purposes, but also to inform and educate. Infographics are a perfect choice when it comes to presenting results of surveys, statistics or describing mechanisms, e.g. ones observed in the society.
When translating such materials, the translator must cooperate with a graphic designer. It is often the case that the image in the new language version requires a different layout, because the translated words take up much more space. Every nuisance matters and should be well thought out.
When the image does not only sell
You are bound to know what a presentation looks like, and you have probably prepared at least a few ones yourself in your life. People dealing with business use presentations on a daily basis. Presentations in PowerPoint or in the trendy Prezi are prepared by employees of companies in all sectors. Information in presentations looks better and is easier to comprehend. What is more, it can be shown to a greater number of people, even the whole audience.
Translation of such materials can be difficult due to extremely diverse graphic forms they include. As with all graphic materials, you have to remember that translated sentences may be longer than those in the source material. Presentations may also include figures or tables whose graphical elements have to be processed by a specialist. In this case it is essential not only to use the right terms, but also to ensure that data are entered correctly.
A different numeral system used in the target language may be yet another difficulty. The translator must then convert correctly figures or only change the form (e.g. substitute comas with points).
Such work is usually done also when translating books, magazines and advertising brochures. Everything must be properly translated, adapted to images they include, and then made ready for printing.
When the text merely complements the image
User manuals are the best example of such materials. Manufacturers of home appliances or e.g. furniture often provide their products with manuals containing mainly pictures. Text is added only to complement these pictures. These are most often the names of particular elements or short hints how to perform specific procedures.
In this case it is usually the graphic designer that has more work to do than the translator. An efficient translator will handle technical translation and localization. Together with the graphic designer they will adapt the translated content to the original manual. As in any other case, the translation agency may offer, if necessary, also the DTP service. With such a comprehensive service, performed by a single team, you can be sure that your materials will be consistent and ready to use.
What should be done before materials to be translated are delivered to make our cooperation easier?
Before materials containing images are delivered to be translated it is worthwhile to compile them in a form enabling their direct graphic processing. These can be files with appropriate extensions, or simply open files in e.g. PowerPoint. If you have read-only materials – don’t worry. They can be translated and localized as well. However, in this case the graphic designer needs to reproduce the file from scratch.
That’s why it advisable to keep drafts and save everything in several forms, no matter what sort of content you compile. It is essential to save images used when creating the text, so they can be easily added when the translation is ready. Graphics and images to be translated can be sent in vector forms to facilitate and accelerate the work on the new language version.
Do you have graphic materials to translate? Do not hesitate to send a request for proposal to: firstname.lastname@example.org