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How to handle markup during translation

How to handle markup during translation

Welcome to this new tooltip about markup (estimated reading time: 5 min). Here I will explain how you can apply markup in your translation as you move on through the text, and which one is the method that I would recommend among the possible ones. If you prefer so, you can go straight to this screencast, embedded below in this post (which lasts 5 min.), which explains how to assign markup in a nutshell

What is markup?

Transit NXT represents the formatting information in the source text by means of markup, or in other words, markup stands for the formatting data contained in the original file. For example, if a string is assigned the markup <b>, as Airplane mode in in the screencast, this means that this string is displayed with bold formatting in the document. Markup may also be text formatted in italics, a footnote, a hyperlink, an image, etc.

Markup tags might be double (as inline codes adding format to text) or single (as images, or objects which do not affect text). They might be on their own, or grouped, or nested with other tags, or one tag in one language might need to be split in two in the other language, and some markup may also contain translatable text (e.g. text which should be displayed in HTML files in the place of an image file or the title of a link). See the third slide in the presentation below.

In section 6.5.2 “Working with markup IDs” on page 232 of Transit NXT’s User Guide, you can find more information about what types of markup exist and how to use them.

Formatting information, and therefore markup, needs to be replicated or maintained in the target language, so that equivalence is preserved and so that, when exporting the translated document, the corresponding formatting information is recreated in the translation.

Recommended view settings

Transit NXT can represent markup in numerical form using so-called markup IDs, which have two main functions. Firstly, they contribute to having a clear overview, as some tags might be very long and cumbersome and clutter the view, so markup IDs let you work more efficiently. Secondly, they link the source-language markup to the corresponding strings in the target segment, i.e. each markup ID in a source segment has an equivalent in the target segment. By the way, IDs are enumerated within paragraphs, that is, every time a new paragraph begins, the ID counter is restarted.

You can activate markup IDs in the View menu, Text and markups section, option Markup ID. You will note that next to each markup tag there is now a superscript number. Thanks to the IDs you can now know where there is some markup that needs to be handled, without needing to see the markup tags at all. You can hide them in the same section, Markups: Hide. Another option that you may want to select is to see, not the tags, but the formatting itself, because it usually provides semantic information that might be relevant for the translation: option Formatting in the same section.

Assigning markup in the target language Now, for the translation to be correctly formatted, the user has to assign these markup IDs to the corresponding text strings in the target segment. There are several ways of doing this. Some translators might find it easy to replace the source text with their translation and then enter the text affected by some markup within the markup borders.

However, that’s not the most efficient way to do it. What if I prefer to clear off the target segment before typing my translation? What if the order of markups in the target text is different from the source one? I would recommend to apply the markup using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+ (where <ID> is a number key in the keyboard, not the keypad) plus the rightward arrow (or any other movement key). For example, if a term has markup ID 2, once I have entered my translation in the target segment, I can select the term that takes that markup and press Ctrl+2, followed by the arrow.

Let's see an alternative way. Instead of entering the text first and then applying the markup, we can proceed the other way round. For a string that has markup ID 3, if you press Ctrl+3 where the string should begin and start typing there, the text will have the correct markup. After the translation of the term is inserted, to carry on typing without the markup you need to jump the markup ending border, with the rightwards arrow. Now you can continue with the translation.

What if the order of markup in the target segment must be different from the source? Let's consider the translation of the “[1»Airplane mode«1] [2»check box«2]” into Spanish. The translation of “check box” comes before the translation of “Airplane mode”. I insert “check box”'s italics markup with Ctrl+2, then type the text “casilla de verificación”, and then press Ctrl+1 to apply bold and finally type “modo Avión”. Piece of cake, right?

In the following video you can see all these steps in action:

One extra comment to illustrate what I said earlier about tags that do not affect text. They are called point markup and they are single markups that start and end on the same point (they do not embrace text with a beginning tag and an ending tag). For example, if an image is inserted in the text, you will see a markup like ‹1›. You would just need to insert it with Ctrl+1 and that's all. The method to insert this is not different from double markup.

And that's all for now. Thank you for your attention and see you in the next tooltip.


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