Documentation: Reducing the Cost of Translation


This workshop begins with a brief description of enterprise-level globalization, a context that has engendered the development of two important processes: internationalization and localization. The workshop then pulls focus to concentrate on the complexity of internationalizing documentation for global markets. While print document is our primary concern, many of the concepts presented also apply to electronic communications.

Document internationalization renders communications as language-independent as possible in order to facilitate localization and meet the needs of different languages and diverse cultures. Using tool-specific, real-life examples, the workshop will demonstrate that internationalization reduces the costs of globalization while increasing overall quality of critical communications.

Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the potential pitfalls of document design and how to avoid them in order to develop communications that will withstand the rigors of eventual localization.

Target Audience

This course is intended for document authoring and design professionals.


This workshop provides document authoring and design professionals with a solid, practical foundationin document internationalization that will ensure an efficient and cost-effective localization process that preservesthe graphic signature of source communications.


The agenda described below is for a one-daysession.




  1. The Problem Domain
    • Context: enterprise-level globalization
    • Overview: terminology and processes
  2. Nuts and Bolts
    • Design fundamentals and process-specific terminology
    • Communication challenges
    • Key concepts: expansion and leveraging
    • Authoring tools
  3. Text Elements and Organization
    • Font support and attributes
    • Text organization
    • Page organization and flows
    • Organization utilities
  4. Do It with Style
    • Overview of style utilities
    • A word about Word
    • Keeping it together
  5. Illustrating the Point
    • Container
    • Placement and integration
    • Portability vs. editability
    • Color
    • Symbols and Icons
  6. Invisibles
    • Metadata
    • Tables of contents, indexes and lists
    • Hidden and conditional text
    • Cross-references and Variables
  7. Gearing up for Localization
    • DTP-specific components
    • Localization-specific specifics
    • Globalization: an exercise in rethinking communication


Each attendee will receive a 250+ page booklet, one slide per page, with ample room for notes, complete with table of contents and glossary. The booklet is designed to serve as apractical easy-to-use reference “book” for regular use during an internationalization project.

Nancy A. Locke

About our Instructor – Nancy A. Locke

Nancy A. Locke is an industry veteran with over 14 years' experience as a desktop publishing professional. Nancy is also a freelance writer, public speaker and educator specializing in language matters, and a translator (French > English).

Formerly director of the Localization Certificate program, from 2003 to 2010 she taught courses on the subject of language and globalization, and translation as a profession at the Université de Montréal. She was on the editorial board of Multilingual Computing & Technology, contributing regularly to its pages as well as other print and on-line industry publications. She has worked both freelance and in-house as a desktop publishing professional and translator, and has extensive international work experience.