using chinese language in FrameMaker documents 
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 using chinese language in FrameMaker documents

Our problem is to be able to translate FM documents (vers.7.0) from Western languages (Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, etc.)to Chinese language. First of all, do anybody of you ever had such a problem? Can anybody help us?

Does 7.0 version support such a language?
Do we need Chinese versions of Acrobat Distiller, Reader, etc. too?
What else?
Any suggestion?

Thanx. Ciao

Mon, 27 Apr 2009 17:22:46 GMT
 using chinese language in FrameMaker documents


we have some manuals here which have been translated to Chinese. The main question is: do you translate to Chinese by yourself, i.e. YOU have to enter Chinese Text? This would be different to our procedure and would require FM running on a Chinese system (although Windows offers options to enter Chinese letters even on western systems, but this seems rather complicated).

If you're not the one who does the translation: it's no problem to import Chinese *.doc or *.rtf files directly into (western) FM. Once being there, you can also copy/paste text within FM documents (which doesn't work from e.g. Word to FM) and format text using your own character formats and fonts. Very important: the documents MUST be set up very clean in Word. I've had several cases where Chinese characters pretended to be Times Roman or Zapf Dingbats in the original Word documents, which leads to incorrect translation into FM (missing and wrong characters).

This work doesn't require any Chinese software versions... as long as you only import and format text from Word files.


Tue, 28 Apr 2009 00:37:58 GMT
 using chinese language in FrameMaker documents
first of all I thank you very much for your answer!

No, we do not have to translate by ourselves: we just pass our .fm files to the translator. We do not import and format text from Word files: our documents are still existing in western languages (wed probably translate to Chinese from English .fm documents).

We just wonder how to set up the Chinese character formats and fonts, starting from our current lists in western languages, and if Adobe FrameMaker does actually support Chinese language. We should probably send our English character formats and fonts list to the Chinese translator, in order to ask him/her to set up the corresponding Chinese version.

I hope you do not mind if, in the future, Ill ask you something more about this topic: it is always very useful to learn from somebody elses experience!


Tue, 28 Apr 2009 17:31:20 GMT
 using chinese language in FrameMaker documents

there should be no problems setting up your paragraph and character formats using an appropriate font. There are several so-called standards (e.g. SimSun, looking like the Chinese answer to Times Roman), but also lots of other (better looking) choices. First you need to know the character set (Chinese sipmlified or traditional), which usually both need their own fonts. With Chinese fonts, the weight is often defined by an "-W3, W5, W7..." extension to the name. Means: A paragraph format that is "regular" in a western document, could be a W5 font, while character formats like "light" translate to W3, "bold" to W9 etc.

We are using two Dynafont collections here (simp./trad), which come as OTF fonts and contain a wide selection of serif/sans-serif fonts. This allows Chinese documents to look at least somewhat similar to the western versions, by choosing a similar font type.

One thing you should have an eye on: if the manual is translated on a Chinese system, often combined font definitions like "Songti + Helvetica" or "Heiti + Helvetica bold" are created. It sometimes is a problem to handle this kind of "fonts" on a western system. In order to get around this, we did the Chinese template (including all formats) by ourselves, using the fonts we _wanted_ to use. My impression is, that sometimes Chinese translators don't care very much, if they use characters from CH. simplified/traditional or even Japanese fonts... as long as it looks right. This could cause problems when working on these documents.


Tue, 28 Apr 2009 18:35:21 GMT
 using chinese language in FrameMaker documents
FrameMaker supports both Traditional & Simplified Chinese (as well as Japanese and Korean). Having translators working directly in Frame files is not something I would recommend, as few linguists are skilled publishers, so there may be large amounts of cleanup afterwards. I would advise setting up the Chinese template yourself, selecting the fonts and setting up combined fonts. The latter must be done with Windows running in Chinese (selected on both the basic & advanced tabs of the Regional and Language Settings control panel), which you'll want anyway, so you can view Chinese characters in dialog boxes and the like (I think it's also required in order to properly generate IX/TOC/etc. but I could be mistaken).

Since Acrobat supports Unicode, and Frame will export Chinese to Unicode (even though it doesn't handle Unicode internally), you don't need any special version.

Chinese works well in FrameMaker, but be aware that it does add a level of complexity considerably greater than FIGS/European.

Sat, 02 May 2009 09:34:13 GMT
 [ 5 post ] 

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