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5 Challenges in Desktop Publishing for Thai Translation Services

Posted by Anne Q. on December 07, 2021.

Thailand has never been invaded by a foreign country, so no other foreign language has developed significant popularity in this area. As a result, skilled and precise Thai translation services are required while conducting business in Thailand. Besides translating your content into the Thai language, you also need to pay attention to the content layout. That’s when Desktop Publishing services come in handy. However, it will also come with certain problems.

In today’s post, we will highlight 5 challenges that you might encounter when using Desktop Publishing services for your Thai translation services. 

What is Desktop Publishing?

The adoption of digital files for numerous languages is known as Desktop Publishing translation. It brings together language specialists and designers to ensure that your designs are as uniform as possible across languages.

Unlike translating a typical text file, when the input is an advertising poster, blueprints, or a multilingual website design, a more technical approach to translation is necessary. DTP translation ensures that your files are translated in the same format as when they were prepared, ensuring that you are ready to publish as soon as your translators return them.

What is desktop publishing (DTP)

Offline print items such as marketing materials, newspapers, journals, books, user instructions, and manuals, among others, also require DTP. These papers include a lot more features than simple text that need to be moulded precisely in the final form, whether it’s altering icons and colours or making sure the translated content fits within the design restrictions.

For example, when a customer submits the information to be translated in PDF format, you will need a desktop publisher who can quickly transform the content into a format that the translators can use. Then after the translation process, the desktop publisher will edit the file layout and turn it into PDF format.


What Makes Desktop Publishing a Challenge in Thai Translation Projects?

With its script and grammatical structure, Thai is a difficult language to translate properly and when it comes to desktop publishing, you will face some significant challenges. Below are 5 problems you might encounter and tips to overcome them.

#1. Font Errors

There is a fact that even if the font selections are supported in English, it doesn’t mean they will work in the target languages. When it comes to Thai translation, you may discover that accented characters, letters, or entire writing systems are not supported in your selected fonts. 

Thai Texts

Finding fonts that accommodate both the source language and the Thai language is quite difficult. Google’s Noto Fonts project seeks to solve this problem, but it doesn’t provide much in the way of design options. If your list of target languages is varied, you’ll almost certainly have to use a variety of font styles. You can ask your Thai desktop publisher for a good choice of fonts. 

Here are some popular fonts for Thai translation projects: Angsana New, CS Prakas, PSL Krittitada Pro, DB Fongnam X, TH Sarabun New, Cloud, SuperMarket, etc.


#2. No space between words

In a Thai sentence, no space is used to separate words and sentences. Rather, it employs a set of rules to aid with word recognition. It is hard to notice the lack of spaces between Thai words until the reader has become accustomed to some specific principles.

This distinctive feature has caused a critical problem for the Desktop Publishing stage in Thai translation work. If your DTP staff aren’t native Thai speakers or competent in the language, there’s a good risk they’ll break lines incorrectly, resulting in illegible information.

Only let native skilled linguists and DTP-ers manage your content in this phase to ensure that no mistakes are made. After the DTP stage, it’s a good idea to spend some time and money hiring a native Thai editor to go through the entire document again.


#3. Graphic Preferences of Thai people

Graphic components in the original document may need to be localized for regional audiences. It is as simple as adjusting colours or symbols to reflect local interpretations with Desktop Publishing, but if your graphics have a strong theme aspect, you may discover that there might be some audiences who cannot get the entire idea of your graphics.

Colours Meaning in Thai Culture

Lucky Colours in Thailand

The features of Thai culture are expressed in colours that are imbued with modern Thai national identity. So if your overall product is focused on visual concepts without translation, you need to reconsider the whole strategy.


#4. Text Expansion and Shrink

When the content in the target language takes up more space than the original in the source language, text expansion occurs. On the other hand, text shrink occurs when translations take up less space than the original text. And it happens a lot in Thai translation projects. For example, when translating text from English to Thai, you should expect the text to expand to 15%.

When dealing with Thai translation that leads to significant length disparities, you might consider taking a step further and hiring a professional Desktop Publisher to layout your papers. Most desktop publishers will try to modify the size of words or fonts as the text expands sufficiently to ensure that the content is clean and in the appropriate place.


#5. Untranslatable Content

It is a truth of translation: there are occasions when the same meaning cannot be expressed in another language. And this situation is common with Thai translation.

Untranslatable terms describing sentiments are the most commonly used in daily life (and the most perplexing to foreigners) among Thai untranslatable words. Because they are emotionally untranslatable terms, Thai people understand and use them every day, but asking them to explain or characterize each one might be tough.

Therefore, DTP has to pay more attention to those circumstances to keep the original as accurately as possible, meanwhile, look for the most reasonable transfer way to apply. 


How to Get Quality Desktop Publishing Services for Your Thai Translation Projects?

Thai translation tasks typically include a lot more effort than just paying someone to rewrite a document in a new language. This is especially true when it comes to large-scale translation and localization projects that contain visuals and different file types. Desktop Publishing is essential to guarantee that a translator can efficiently finish their work and a project is delivered in the correct format with its high design quality.

Our DTP services may help you publish papers related to Thai translation in whatever target language you want. GTE Localize can assist you in conducting the appropriate research and making educated design decisions that lower the likelihood of facing the 5 above issues. 

Desktop Publishing for Thai Translation

So if you are looking for perfect text extraction, effective typesetting, creative layout with high-quality assurance, get in touch with our DTP specialists for any further guidance.