When Translating Docs, Do Numeric Callouts Eliminate the Need for Redoing Graphics?

I was reading Tom Johnson’s article “Does Translation Mean You Should Omit Illustrations?“In his article, Tom states, “…visual communication is problematic. If you’re translating the document into 10 languages, every screenshot you use requires translation as well.”

 

I think one thing that needs to be mentioned here about illustrations that need to be used for audiences of different languages is the effective use of numeric callouts. Numeric callouts obviate the need to translate text embedded in the graphic – much like the kind you see here.

The method behind using numeric callouts is to label the parts of the graphic as you see here.

In a table adjacent to the figure with numeric callouts, you define the called-out items in wherever origin language you will – English, for example. When the document in which the graphic and the accompanying English-language text gets translated, there is no need to redo the graphic.

I thought this practice was common knowledge. What do you think?

 

John Melendez

 

Comments

  1. Profile photo of John Melendez
    John Melendez Post author

    All, thanks for your comments! 

     

    Shweta, forgive me for answering so late… Yes, you would usually add a table below the graphic, and then fill the table with text to match the numeric callouts.  For example, column 1 could be labeled “Item” or “Number”, and then the second column could be labeled “Description” or “Function” etc.  When a translator (or translation engine) comes across the text in the table, it will readily translate to your target languages.

  2. Profile photo of John Melendez
    John Melendez Post author

    All, thanks for your comments! 

     

    Shweta, forgive me for answering so late… Yes, you would usually add a table below the graphic, and then fill the table with text to match the numeric callouts.  For example, column 1 could be labeled “Item” or “Number”, and then the second column could be labeled “Description” or “Function” etc.  When a translator (or translation engine) comes across the text in the table, it will readily translate to your target languages.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *