Can DITA support variations in content structure and layout for different languages in government documentation?

Government documentation often needs to be available in multiple languages, and DITA XML provides a structured approach to handle variations in content structure and layout for different languages. This is essential to ensure that content remains consistent and user-friendly across various linguistic versions.

Conditional Text and Attributes

DITA allows the use of conditional text and attributes, making it possible to tailor content for specific languages without duplicating entire topics. For example, a government agency can use conditional processing to display certain paragraphs or sections of content only when a particular language is selected. This ensures that the content structure remains consistent, while language-specific details are appropriately adjusted. Conditional attributes can be set in the DITA source files to control the behavior and visibility of content in different language versions.


Here’s an example of how DITA can structure content with conditional text for language variations:

<topic id="user-manual">
  <title>User Manual</title>
      <text>Common installation steps...</text>
      <text audience="en">For English users...</text>
      <text audience="fr">Pour les utilisateurs français...</text>

In this example, the DITA topic includes conditional text for different language audiences, allowing the same topic structure to accommodate language-specific content variations.