Translation of FrameMaker Files

In the translation and localization industry, it is very common to work on projects for the translation of manuals, catalogs, brochures and other technical documents. These different types of documents can be presented in different design formats, including FrameMaker, InDesign, PageMaker, Illustrator, QuarkXpress, MS Publisher, among others. These programs usually are processors for document production and handling of large structured files. At first glance, the translation of these books can be a bit complicated, but with the right tools the equation can change to your favor.

One of these programs is, as mentioned above, Adobe FrameMaker. The structure of these files is quite complex. Generally, these documents will be used for all kinds of content: images, texts of these images, index markers, headers and footers, titles, subtitles, etc. These are all aspects to consider because, of course, when it comes to translating these manuals, you must translate everything, respecting all these structures. One of the options for translating FrameMaker manuals is using the Trados tool, TagEditor.

Let’s review some details that may be useful when translating a manual FrameMaker with TagEditor:
First, for the translation of these books is important to use Translation Memories (TMs). Generally, customers who provide manuals for other products with very similar text, or it can send updates of the same product, which means that at this point it is necessary to use memories that allow us to incorporate the full approved text.
To convert a FrameMaker file into editable text (ie in. TagEditor bilingual .ttx), you must follow these steps:
1) Convert the .fm FrameMaker variant to .mif. To do this, simply open the file and save it as .mif using the “Save as”;
2) Use the Trados tool S-Tagger for FrameMaker. Select the Convert MIF. There, you should select all the converted MIF files and then convert these files into Trados TTX, which are to be used for translation. It should be noted at this point that a folder should be created where these files are kept.
3) Once the bilingual files are edited and translated, proceed with the reverse to convert all these files back into MIF files. This procedure is carried out with the option Convert STF. These MIF files are the files, once they are saved again as .fm, that will form the translated version of the manual in FrameMaker.

Ancilliary translation files are also necessary. These files are created by default and, generally, are the files containing all the repeated text of the manuals: footers, headers, subheaders, etc. These files are translated again into the main .fms when they are converted to .mif.

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