[Adobe & Partner] Translating Adobe FrameMaker Documents with the Across Language Server
by Stefan Gentz
Posted on 08-29-2019
In this post:
In this age of globalization and information technologies, it is no wonder that translation plays a vital role. At the same time, technical documentation plays an important role. Thus, a combination of both—translating technical documentation—is becoming ever more critical in today’s business world. However, thanks to tools like the Across Language Server, this is no insurmountable obstacle. It is a powerful solution with comprehensive support for Adobe FrameMaker documents.
About the Across Language Server
The Across Language Server is a central software platform for all corporate language resources and translation processes. The system simplifies, accelerates, and improves the management, coordination, and implementation of translations. The software offers a Translation Memory, a Terminology System, and powerful solutions for Project Management and Translation Management. Most importantly, the Across Language Server enables customers, agencies, and individual translators to work seamlessly together and based on the same data.
High-level process overview of translating Adobe FrameMaker MIF files with the Across Language Server
Translating FrameMaker Documents with the Across Language Server
You can translate both unstructured and structured Adobe FrameMaker documents with the Across Language Server. This blog post only addresses the translation of unstructured FrameMaker documents. Before you can import the FrameMaker documents into the Across Language Server, you need to save the documents in FrameMaker’s exchange format MIF. You can do this in FrameMaker.
Once you have saved your FrameMaker document as a MIF file, you can start creating your translation project in the Across Language Server with a step-by-step wizard. For advanced enterprise scenarios, the Across Language Server also offers an Application Programming Interface (API) and can also be integrated with many other systems.
You can define all framework conditions of the project during the project creation:
- The files that need translation
- How the files will be imported (Document Settings Template)
- The target languages
- Project workflow (e.g. ISO 17100)
Learn more about Project Creation in the Across Language Server User Documentation.
Document Settings Template
In the Across Language Server, Document Settings Template (DST) can be used to specify how file formats should be processed during the check-in process. Document Settings Template can be shared among different projects on the same system and exported for re-use on other systems.
During project creation, you can select the Document Settings Template for Adobe FrameMaker MIF files. The customization of the Document Settings Template gives you granular control about how the Across Language Server will process your MIF files. You can determine which components of the MIF files are translatable and which ones not. E.g., you can lock or hide text based on Paragraph Styles and Character Styles used in your document. If you have content in your document that does not need translation, you can exclude them, which will reduce the translation volume and thus, the translation costs.
Fig. 1: Filter settings of the Across Language Server for the translation of MIF files
Learn more about Document Settings Templates in the Across Language Server User Documentation.
Advanced MIF Import Properties
In the Advanced Properties of the MIF Settings (see Fig. 2), you can also decide to remove FrameMaker-specifc Special Characters during check-in. As the length of the translation will probably differ from that of the source document, you can remove manual page breaks, column breaks, and line breaks. You can also remove conditional hyphens (discretionary hyphens) from the source document and even remove change bars from your document.
Fig. 2: Advanced filter settings for translating MIF files
Moreover, in the Advanced Properties, you can also customize if the following components of a FrameMaker document should be imported for translation or not:
- Master pages
- Reference pages
- Numbering formats
- Cross-reference formats
- System variables
- User variables
Learn more about Advanced Properties for MIF files in the Across Language Server User Documentation.
Checking in the Files
After creating the project, the MIF files need to be checked in. The Across Language Server imports your FrameMaker MIF files and applies the rules of your selected filter settings (see above). Finally, the Across Language Server analyses the content of your document.
During the check-in process, the Across Language Server separates the external “hull” of the FrameMaker document from the content and transforms the MIF files into an Across-internal format. Thanks to this separation of formatting and content, the translator can concentrate only on translating the content itself. After translation, the formattings of each element in your FrameMaker document will be exactly as it was in the source.
Moreover, the Across Language Server will automatically pretranslate the content during check-in with any existing translation in the Translation Memory. This pre-translation helps to minimize the translation workload, speed up the translation process, and reduce the translation costs even more.
Now the FrameMaker MIF Files are ready for translation. Just assign the translation to a suitable party along the translation supply chain. This party may be an in-house translator, a freelance translator, or a translation service provider who may, in turn, delegate the translation to another translator. Across also offers https://www.crossmarket.net/en, a great place to find competent translation partners.
Regardless of who prepares the translation, the closed supply chain of the Across Language Server always ensures that all parties involved in the translation process work with the same predefined settings. This approach increases the process transparency and security.
Translating Adobe FrameMaker MIF Files
Like all other translation formats, the MIF files will be translated in the crossDesk translation environment (see Fig. 3).
Fig. 3: The crossDesk translation environment while translating an Adobe FrameMaker MIF file
In this translation-optimized environment, the translator has all the necessary information in one place. For example, the translator can see and reuse existing translation units from previous translations stored in the translation memory. Terminology entries are displayed as well. Their use ensures consistent terminology in the translation, one of the key pillars of high-quality translations.
Quality Management with the Across Language Server
The project manager who coordinates the translation project determines the QM criteria. The project manager is also the one who can define QM criteria as mandatory criteria. In this way, you can make sure that the parties involved in the translation project (translators, correctors, reviewers, etc.) will follow the required QM criteria. The QM criteria automatically deploy to all parties involved.
During the translation, the system automatically conducts a quality check. Based on predefined quality management (QM) criteria, the Across Language Server checks the translation for a wide range of possible errors (see Fig. 4). Checks include spell-check, missing translations, and terminology correctness. Other QM criteria, such as missing punctuation marks and correct use and formatting of numbers, and dates are available as well.
Fig. 4: The QM module in the crossDesk translation environment
Learn more about QM Criteria in the Across Language Server User Documentation.
Finishing the Project
When translating MIF files with the Across Language Server, you have a significant advantage if you also have FrameMaker installed on the same computer. With this combination, you can generate a preview of the translation (and of the source document) in FrameMaker and check if everything will be as expected.
Is everything translated, reviewed, and QM-checked? Great! Now you are ready to check out the files from Across. During check-out, Across Language Server imports the translated strings back into your original MIF document.
As the last step, you can open the translated MIF files in Adobe FrameMaker again and save them as a FrameMaker document (.fm).
The Across Language Server enables the definition, management, and control of the entire translation process. This is made possible by a closed supply chain in which all actors work with the same predefined settings, preconditions, and data. The translation of FrameMaker documents with the help of the Across Language Server guarantees a high level of process security.
About Across Systems GmbH
With its smart software solutions, Across Systems GmbH assists enterprises and translators worldwide in successfully processing their translation projects. Customers from diverse industries use the Across Language Server and the Across Translator Edition to tackle their daily localization challenges.
The Across Language Server is a central software platform for all corporate language resources and translation processes. Its closed supply chain guarantees a high level of process security when translating Adobe FrameMaker documents.
Please feel free to contact Christine Wetzl, Head of Sales at Across Systems GmbH, with any questions regarding their solutions.
Also, make sure to follow @Across_Systems on Twitter.
Across Systems GmbH | Im Stoeckmaedle 13, 76307 Karlsbad, Germany
Tel.: +49 (7248) 925 425
Topics: Technologies, Across, Partner Solutions, TechComm Import