How are reference and citation links handled during content localization in DITA?

Handling reference and citation links during content localization in DITA requires careful planning and considerations to ensure that references and citations remain accurate and contextually relevant in different languages or regions. When localizing DITA content, the language, cultural norms, and citation styles may vary, making it essential to adapt the references appropriately. This process involves both linguistic translation and formatting adjustments to maintain consistency.

One approach to handle reference and citation links is to create language-specific versions of the reference content. For instance, if a DITA document cites an external source, you can maintain a database of references for each target language. When localizing the content, you can replace the reference links with language-specific versions using the key attribute to access the appropriate reference in the localized reference database. This ensures that the citations are accurate and aligned with the target audience’s language and conventions.

Below is an example of how reference links are handled during content localization:

<p>In the <cite database="refs-en" key="source-123" />, the author discusses important concepts. When localized to French, it becomes <cite database="refs-fr" key="source-123" /> and maintains consistency in the new language.</p>

In this example, the <cite> element references different reference databases for English and French content, using the appropriate keys to access the localized reference.