How is content localization and translation managed in DITA for manufacturing documentation?

Managing content localization and translation in DITA for manufacturing documentation is essential for organizations with a global presence. DITA offers robust features and practices to streamline the localization and translation process, ensuring that content is accurately adapted for different languages and regions while maintaining consistency.

Modular Content

DITA’s modular content approach allows manufacturing organizations to break down documentation into smaller, reusable components. This modularity simplifies the localization process as individual modules can be translated independently. Translators can work on specific topics or sections, making the process more efficient and reducing the time required for translation.

Conditional Text

DITA enables the use of conditional text tags, which allow authors to specify content variations based on language or region. This means that a single DITA document can contain multiple language versions or adaptations for different regions. By leveraging conditional text, organizations can maintain a single source while tailoring content to specific audiences, languages, or regions.

Translation Workflows

DITA supports established translation workflows by exporting content for translation in industry-standard formats such as XLIFF (XML Localization Interchange File Format). This facilitates collaboration with translation teams, who can work with DITA content using dedicated translation tools. After translation, the content can be re-imported into the DITA structure, maintaining the link between the original and translated versions.


Here’s an example of how content localization and translation are managed in DITA for manufacturing documentation:

<topic id="product_manual">
  <title>Product Manual</title>
    <section conkeyref="region=us">This section provides instructions for the US market.</section>
    <section conkeyref="region=fr">Cette section fournit des instructions pour le marché français.</section>

In this example, conditional text tags conkeyref are used to specify variations of the content based on region. The same DITA document contains content for both the US market and the French market, allowing for efficient content localization and translation.