Are there strategies for managing translation of DITA maps with complex hierarchies?

Managing the translation of DITA maps with complex hierarchies is a task that requires careful planning and execution. Here are some strategies to effectively handle complex DITA map hierarchies during translation:

Content Chunking

Break down the DITA map content into smaller, more manageable pieces. This process, known as content chunking, involves dividing the content into meaningful sections or topics. By doing this, you create more granular translation units, which can be assigned to translators individually. Content chunking simplifies the translation process, reduces the risk of errors, and allows for parallel translation efforts.

Use of Keys and References

Utilize DITA keys and conkeyrefs to manage the relationships between topics within the hierarchy. Keys and references enable you to link content efficiently and ensure that changes in one topic are reflected in other related topics. This helps maintain consistency in translations, as updates only need to be made in one place and are automatically propagated throughout the hierarchy.

Translation Memory

Implement a translation memory system to store and reuse previously translated content. Translation memory allows you to leverage existing translations for repeated content, such as common phrases, technical terminology, or standard operating procedures. This not only saves time and effort but also ensures consistency in translations across the entire hierarchy.


Here’s an example of a complex DITA map hierarchy:

<map id="user-manual">
  <title>User Manual</title>
  <topicref href="introduction.dita" />
  <topicref href="setup.dita" />
  <topicref href="usage.dita">
    <topicref href="features.dita" />
    <topicref href="troubleshooting.dita" />
  <topicref href="appendices.dita" />

Managing translation for this complex hierarchy involves breaking down the topics, using keys and references for efficient linking, and leveraging translation memory for repeated content.