GALA Webinar on Localization Project Management

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages is provided via machine translation.

Manish Kanwal, International Program Manager at Adobe will be conducting a webinar at GALA (Globalization and Localization Associates), which is the largest non profit standards organization within the language industry. The webinar will present insights into the best practices for managing a complex localization project. Additionally, it will elucidate with a case study of a comprehensively large project with engineering teams spread across the globe including, linguistics, reviewers, legal, supply-chain, marketing, customer-support and many more.

Join this webinar to acclimatize what it takes to project manage and localize in demanding conditions, right from the point the product is envisaged until its public launch. Event details are available here, it will be broadcasted on 26 July 11:00 EDT

InDesign CS6…. Welcome to India!

This article talks about the overall objective of Localization in a new market or in business terms an “Emerging Market”. You might wonder, “why that specific word Emerging?” Because of the business opportunity it presents by taking a product to a new market where the demand exists, but somehow the product was not made available.

In the publishing domain, India is still one of the few countries where Print has seen a steady growth. Excerpts from one of the famous research site below:

“Contrary to most other markets in the world that continue to witness an erosion of the print media industry, in India, the sector witnessed a growth of ten percent in 2010 and is expected to continue to grow at a similar pace over the next five years. Rising literacy levels and low print media penetration offer significant headroom for growth, says a FICCI-KPMG report, recently released at FICCI FRAMES 2011 event…………”[Source All About Newspaper, publish date March`2011]

Does this present an opportunity for Adobe to expand in the Print Media space leveraging its one of the most popular Desktop publishing software InDesign®. Yes, but at what cost? Let’s weigh in the cost and benefits.

  1. Over the course of last few years, Adobe India sales force has been meeting Indian customers to understand how InDesign can be made ‘India ready’.
  2. In India, English is quite close to as being the second most spoken language just behind Hindi, giving a leeway to probably still hit the market with an English user interface (UI).
  3. The most talked about area in the frequent customer meetings was the support of Indic scripts in Print and Desktop Publishing Adobe applications. The current World-Ready composers for middle-eastern text included partial support for several Indic scripts. However, a number of bug fixes and product support requirements were needed for Adobe to officially certify and launch the product in India.

The specifics listed above did carve a path for InDesign to see support for Indic scripts in CS6 release. Based on input from the Product Management, the following 10 Indic scripts ranked highest on the priority list to support:

Each of the locales above have a good percentage of Print Media in the Indian market ranging from Newspaper, Magazines, Journals, etc. To support these locales was a tough road ahead since most of these locales use complex character combination, glyphs, hyphenation rules, dictionary support.

Phase 1 of this project included adding dictionary support in InDesign for these locales. We integrated the locale-specific open source dictionaries, evaluated them against competing products (with similar support) spanning a series of script specific test data hand-picked by linguists. The test criteria being:

  • Test maturity and quality of the dictionaries embedded
  • Misspell words intentionally and compare the corrected words
  • Ensure the words in InDesign when copied maintain their sanctity
  • Validating a few language rules, as applicable, such as hyphenation, matras, spellings, etc

Dictionary evaluation did show quite impressive results, allowing us to move to second phase of this endeavor of analyzing InDesign for Indic scripts. After a significant number of complex workflows, a few engineering tweaks along the way, we were able to achieve what we set our eyes at initially.

  • Added dictionaries and spell checkers for the 10 scripts
  • Added Hyphenation for the 10 scripts
  • Bundled 1 Indic font family: Adobe Devanagari
  • Included a script that users can run to set relevant defaults and correctly handle imports from Word docs etc.

Even though we started off this effort as a seed project, codenamed as InDesign Indic 1.0, we were able to achieve more than we shot for. InDesign proved not just compatible for the majority of the locales listed above but offered notable support for even the most complex glyphs.

Switch to the World-Ready Composer, an alternate composition engine, with a single click of indicPreferences.js in Window > Utilities > Scripts panel to explore the Indic world in InDesign. By virtue of basic Indic script support in InDesign CS6, you can now type in these languages and characters would shape and render correctly. And yes, there will be more refinements to the Indic Script support in future releases to come.

Let us know what you think and how you plan to use these features. Please visit here for the complete list of Language support in InDesign CS6.

Contributed by Harpreet Singh (Adobe India)

Announcing PSE11 and PRE11 Programs for French and German Users

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages is provided via machine translation.

Adobe Prerelease Programs are your chance to experience, evaluate and influence upcoming products & technologies from Adobe within a smaller, more focused user environment. Prerelease Programs facilitate a symbiotic development process allowing Adobe to share products in the development stage to gather early feedback. In the process you get a chance to shape the upcoming products and adapt to the new products faster.

Multiple engagement channels are available to Prerelease participants at Adobe:

  • Access to download Prerelease software/technologies and technical documentation
  • Ability to report bugs & request features for the Prerelease software
  • Access to the Prerelease user forums for sharing ideas directly with Adobe product teams and other likeminded folks of the product’s community
  • Opportunity to participate in various product-related surveys

A Prerelease program is an endeavour to engage the real users of the product – YOU – early in the development cycle of the product, to listen and learn from you on how the product is working for you.

Current Prerelease Opportunities: How to Apply?

You may fill in the application forms for expressing your interest to join a products’ Prerelease program at Adobe. The participation will be entirely based on the requirements of the program and the credentials of the participant.

Following products have been opened up prerelease testing opportunities with French and German builds:

Photoshop Elements 11 for French Users– Sign-up now to participate in the Adobe Photoshop Elements Localized program and preview exciting new functionality!Apply now

Photoshop Elements 11 for German Users – Sign up to participate in the Adobe Photoshop Elements Localized Program and preview exciting new functionality!Apply now

Premiere Elements 11 for French Users – Sign up to participate in the Adobe Premiere Elements 11 Localized Program and preview exciting new functionality!Apply now

Premiere Elements 11 for German Users – Sign up to participate in the Adobe Premiere Elements 11 Localized Program and preview exciting new functionality!Apply now

We look forward to your participation in this pre-release program. In case of any issues of if you need more information, please feel free to contact Manish Kanwal at mkanwal@adobe.com or Nimra Khan at nikhan@adobe.com.

 

Adobe Flash – Content Creation & Localization Guidelines

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages is provided via machine translation.

1. Purpose of this document
This blog is an outcome of an extensive study undertaken to identify best practices in localization of Flash based content.

Localizing structured content through translation management tools (like SDL WorldServer) can be a simple process. However unstructured content like text appearing in Flash videos is not easy. To add to it, tracking the efficiency of the linguistics becomes all the more difficult for unstructured content.

The blog covers all aspect of Flash localization including creating the English content the right way; so that it becomes localization “friendly”. This should result in cost and time savings; which is multiplied by the number of target languages should yield sufficient dividends.

2. Extraction of Text from a Flash animation

The difficulty of Flash animation localization depends on the globalization level of source – usually English Flash animations. During the localization process, all localizable text is extracted from the source animation, replaced by localized versions and localized strings are modified according to the style guides- including choice of font size, family etc. Occasionally localizable text is not included in the text layers but presented as graphics. Therefore the source animation has to be fixed in the first place to have it ready for localization. As a first step of Flash animation localization is to extract all localizable text from the animation. This is possible by using commercial tools such as “Flash Localization Tool” or renaming source .fla file to the .zip archive (just change extension from .fla to .zip) and extracting all .xml files from “LIBRARY” subfolder of the .zip. See Figure 1 and Figure 2 for more details.


Figure 1 – list of Flash archive with LIBRARY subfolder

Figure 2 – list of text layers in .xml format stored in the LIBRARY subfolder of a Flash archive

Flash native format is a zip archive with defined structure. Having a baisc knowledge of it enables one to easily extract all text layers from the animation. Once done, the only task remains to locate the text within the extracted .xml files and provide the translators with .ini file (if the translation is to be completed by using Trados CAT). Text layers in .xml files can be found surrounded by <characters>Your text</characters> XML tags.
The XML stores the information about font size, family and style (besides storing the localizable text). Most of this information like font family can be easily modified for all text if source font does not support the target language alphabet. For more details about Flash XML file please see Figure 8.

Best Practice # 1:
Never modify texts within text layers with help of action script. It will be difficult to understand script.

3. Pseudo localization
“Pseudo localization” is a process to ensure the animation is ready for localization and all localizable texts is in the text layers only. During this process all strings currently contained in text layers (.xml files) are replaced by pre-defined string, e.g. by “X”. Original .xml files in the LIBRARY subfolder are replaced by modified ones and when this action is completed, render.swf should be played back in Flash player. By playing these renders it is possible to locate any remaining text which was not pseudo localized for various reasons.
Text originally present in the text layers is displayed as “X” in this render. In case there is still any readable text it usually comes from embedded video, graphics or an action script. One can find example of pseudo localization in Figure 3, Figure 4 and Figure 5.

Figure 3 – Example of pseudo localization. All strings except “What’s new” were changed to “X”. “What’s new” is a graphics in Flash animation and thus can’t be easily edited.

Figure 4 – Same screenshot as in Figure “3″ but now localized into Russian. As you can see also “What’s new” is correctly localized. In this case source was fixed and localizable graphical texts were updated to text layers.

Figure 5 – Another example of pseudo localization. Displayed asset is a screenshot from an application and the only editable text is in the upper right corner. In this specific case, it was decided NOT to fake it and leave it in English as the font size was too small

Best Practice # 2:
Apply Pseudo localization to find out any localizable text whichis not in text layers within Flash project. If your project has been globalized ever since the ideal way, pseudo localization can be skiped.

 

4. Text layers in Flash animation
There are many ways to insert text into Flash animation. For example, avoid inserting graphical text (letters as graphical objects) and work with text layers only. If this is the case, DO NOT break text into multiple strings, and keep it in one string only, unless specifically required. Any separation in multiple substrings will result intext segmentation inside .xml file and can lead to loss of context during translation and thus incorrect localization of it’s substring.
In Figure 6 and Figure 7, one can find text “Loyal customers like you save with special upgrade pricing. Adobe Photoshop Elements & Adobe Premiere Elements is now a perfect 10!”
This sentence is separated into two different text layers. Such separation will result into segmentation of strings in the .xml file as well and translator will see them as two separated strings without any relationship between them, see Figure 8.

Figure 6 – “Loyal customers like you save with special upgrade pricing. Adobe Photoshop Elements & Adobe Premiere Elements is now a perfect 10!” text separation into two substrings. On this figure, the first part is visible.

Figure 7 – Second part of text “Loyal customers like you save with special upgrade pricing. Adobe Photoshop Elements & Adobe Premiere Elements is now a perfect 10!”

Figure 8 – Representation of substrings in the .xml file. Every substring is enclosed in the <DOMStaticText> tag inside .xml file.

It is not recommended to split a string into shorter substrings but rather keep them in one text layer whenever possible. Advantages of this approach are:
1. Localized string is well ordered so that localized substrings do not need to be reviewed by native speaker after localization and postprocess.
2. String is not divided into shorter substrings inside .xml file.
Today’s version of Flash allows authors to keep strings with different font family, color, style, size etc. in one text layer. Additionally, there is no need to separate them into several text layers. Keeping source strings in one text layer helps translators and localization engineers to spend less time on translation and post-processing of localized strings in the animation. It also decreases the chance of issues related to word order. In Figure 9 you can find example of complex string (part of the text is in yellow with bigger font) in one text layer.

Figure 9 – Complex string in one text layer only. There is no need to put text in yellow into a separate text layer. With today’s Flash you can create such complex strings.

Best Pratice #3:
Keep the number of text layers within Flash project as low as possible. If any text formatting is required, do it only one text layer (as much as possible).

 

5. Embedded Videos
Many a times, Flash animations may contain embedded videos. These embedded videos can be easily found in Flash object library under “Embedded Video” type, please see Figure 10.
If there are any segments to be localized within embedded videos and only the render has been provided, it will be very difficult and time consuming to localize such strings. In special cases, when the video is carefully analyzed, some text can be “faked“ with small effort.
However, animated text (Figure 11) or static one with moving background is almost impossible to edit and in order to localize this type of source it is necessary to spend many hours to fake just one or two seconds of the final render. The source simply needs to be re-created which increases the effort manifold.
With editable video project file one can modify all text layers inside embedded video and prepare localized versions of those videos.

Figure 10 – Embedded video “soccer.flv” with animated localizable string

Figure 11 – Example of localizable text within the embedded video impossible to fake, text is animated

Best Practice #4:
Embedded videos with localizable texts within Flash project increase the time and effort for localization manifold.
The best way to do is extract all text from Video, localize it, replace all localizable texts and create localized render first. Without editable video file, the only (harrowing) option is to try to fake text within embedded video, which is usually impossible. So DO NOT embed text/assets in videos if you want to localize it. Provide assets and video separetely instead.

6. Screenshot Animations
One can also create an animation inside the Flash project from a series of screenshots. See example of screenshots series in Figure 12 and Figure 13. Text in the screenshots are localizable ones and a source .psd with editable text layer needs to be created initially. Once completed and the text is replaced with a localized version, screenshooting of the localized series can be carried out.
If you have source editable .psd available, please provide it to your localization engineer. Moreover, text effects used in the localized Flash will be identical with those in the source Flash.

Figure 12 – Screenshot series. You can see both preview of the screenshot and also sequence of screenshots in the Flash timeline

Figure 13 – End of the screenshot series in the Flash animation. Text “The Big …” is animated within the series and every screenshot adds one letter of the text into the animation.

Best Practice#5: For any localizable text within a graphics (graphical text), it is important to provide source English assets. If source editable asset is not provided, it has to be re-created by localization vendor first to be able to replace text by a localized version and create render for Flash project. During re-creation of editable source asset some effects can be overseen and hence missed in localized version.

 

7. Buttons & Active Layers
It is vital to keep all buttons with localizable texts as “Movie Clip” type in the Flash project and not to use mixture of different Flash types to simulate button functionality. If button functionality consists of more Flash types, it is very likely that during post processing, the engineers may unintentionally use incorrect alignment of these objects in relation to each other inside certain frame. As a result, this will lead to a functional impact on the flash file, and in some cases, rending it corrupt
An example of corrupted button is described in Figure 14. Here the button consists of graphical text in the yellow box and active layer (shown as a blue frame) which plays role of “clickable” area. You may observe that the box is not aligned with active layer and the left side of this button will not be clickable. Additionally, right side contains an overlapped area which is active which is not correct.

Figure 14 – Corrupted button “What’s new”. Active layer (blue frame) is not aligned with yellow box.

Creating buttons as “Movie clip” will avoid similar issues in Flash animations. Sometimes, modification of assigned action script is required as well.

Best Practice #5:
Active layers outside of button in Flash can lead into misalignment within localized version of Flash. It requires once to resize button and active layer objects with every change in the no. of text characters in the button. Buttons created correctly eliminate potential misalignment risks and decrease the number of button re-sizings by a significant number.

 

8. Flickering
In some Flash players, localized text can exhibit “Flickering“ effect i.e., text is moved by one or a few pixel to left, right, up or down when the cursor is hovered over it. See Figure 15 for more details.

Figure 15 – Flickering in detail – the image is composed from two screenshots of the same part re-captured after few seconds later to see one pixel position changes

The only way how to fix the „Flickering“ issue is to convert text layers within localized Flash project into curves and render into final format. Graphical text (curves) doesn’t show the “Flickering“ effect any more

Best Practice #6:
Flickering effect is visible in some players only. It is recommended to use Flash players without Flickering effect. Otherwise, localized text layers have to be converted into curves before rendering into final format. When multiplied by number of target languages, effort will turn out to be huge.

 

9. Acknowledgements/Credits

This document was prepared from an independent study done in Photoshop Elements 11 by Jakub Škrabal & Petr Knápek from Moravia, and Akulaa Agarwal & Manish Kanwal from Adobe.

Please note that it can be applied to any Adobe/Non Adobe projects requiring localization of text and other assets in Flash files. For any questions, please feel free to reach out to Akulaa Agarwal(akulaa@adobe.com) and Manish Kanwal (mkanwal@adobe.com).

FrameMaker Localization Prerelease program!

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages was provided by machine translation.

Do you use Adobe® FrameMaker® in any of the following three languages?
• Japanese
• French
• German

If yes then here is a great opportunity for you to contribute and make an impact on improving the overall quality of Localized FrameMaker by being a part of Localized Prerelease Program. Here are the areas you can check:
Quality of language used throughout the UI: Do you see any instances where the translation is incorrect or not of high quality?
Truncations, overlaps, clippings and other flawed UI geometry: Do you notice that some text is getting truncated, or some buttons are appearing skewed?
Character rendition: Are the characters used in your language are displayed incorrectly, or cannot be entered in FrameMaker properly?
Cross-product consistency: If you are familiar with other Adobe products, do you see any discrepancy that FrameMaker shows vis-à-vis others?
General usability: Anything in general that you did not like about the product in general?

So if you are interested please send an email to Vinay Krishan Sharma at vinayks@adobe.com with following details -
1. Full Name
2. Email address
3. Language interested in (out of Japanese, French and German)
4. Your Company/Organization name
5. Job Function/Title
6. How long (no. of years) have you been using FrameMaker?
7. What version of FrameMaker are you currently using?

Thanks
Vinay K Sharma | Program Manager (Localization) | Adobe Systems

Adobe Story now available on Prerelease Interest Form

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages was provided by machine translation.

Adobe Story, arguably the most powerful script writing in the world got just better for all it’s international users. At present it is shipped in French, German, Italian and Spanish, besides English.

For the all active Adobe Story user community, we are very happy to announce that you can express your interest to join the Adobe Story Prerelease program. So if you are interested to try out Adobe Story in the above mentioned 4 languages then register your interest at Adobe Prerelease Interest Form.

Please note we don’t guarantee any invites yet and it will depend on how much interests we receive.

Vinay Krishan Sharma
Localization Program Manager

Adobe Story: A Revolution in Script Writing. Unleash the kraken!!

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages was provided by machine translation.

 

May, 2nd marks the release of Adobe Story: 1.0 product and probably world’s most powerful tool for movie script writing. Adobe Story, is a collaborative script writing tool for screenplays and stories. It’s a product for creative professionals, producers and writers but can be used by any individual for their daily records and notes.

 

 

 

 

 

Adobe Story supports 6 locales: English (US), English (UK), French , German, Italian and Spanish. In a short span of 2 years, it has garnered tremendous traction across the globe, with many users expressing to use it as the ONLY script writing tool.

It is a robust script-to-screen tool and strongly integrates with Adobe Premiere Pro to streamline post-production workflows.

Image 1: Login Page (e.g., for German users)

Some of the cool features of Adobe Story:

a. Collaborate scripts with other users, with an inbuilt user rights management system.

Image 2: Share Script (e.g., for French Users)

b. Track changes made by different users, with an inbuilt version control system. Revert to previous version anytime!

c. OnlineOffline sync-up: You were disconnected to network somehow or went to a place enjoying your holidays without internet – Don’t worry, this feature will sync your work when you get back!

d. ImportExport common file extensions: PDF, TXT, DOC and other script writing formats like FDX, MMS.

e. Direct integration with video editing software: Import script metadata directly into Adobe Premiere Pro and easily search for important video elements such as dialogue or characters.

f. Switch between languages without any hassle!

Image 3: Switch to any language

g. Tag characters and text in the dialogue automatically or manually.

h. Generate custom reports containing scene elements, list of characters with dialogues, actions etc.

Below are snippets of some of the users

Image 4: Snippet from Twitter

Image 5: Snippet from Facebook fan page

If you are a script writer, who knows any of these 6 languages, we encourage you to try it and your preproduction experience will never be the same. We actively listen to new feature requests, and have a bimonthly product release in all 6 languages. You can join us on Facebook, Twitter, and User Forums. You can email us your queries from across the globe and you’ll receive a reply in 24 hours. That’s a promise!!

[Contributed by Manish Kanwal & Navneet Bisht]

 

 

Adobe Localized Prerelease Program

This article was originally written in English. Text in other languages was provided by machine translation.

Does breaking applications excite you…do you consider yourself a doom for faulty applications or are linguistically good enough to lecture everyone around…. We would love to hear from you !!

The Globalization team at Adobe with an eye to enhance the end user experience; has decided to launch the localized pre-release versions of several products and is looking for pre-release testers around the globe.

Excited…that’s not it…there are tons of goodies and cool adobe products be won*.

What are you waiting for…fill up the pre-release interest form available here and be considered.

Spread the word and be the first to grab hold of the most awesome technologies yet to hit the market.

(* subjected to individual contribution and discretion of Adobe Systems)

[Gaurav Bathla, Adobe India]