What are the best practices for preparing educational content for translation in DITA?

When preparing educational content for translation in DITA, it’s important to follow best practices to ensure a smooth and efficient localization process. Here are some key strategies for getting your DITA content ready for translation:

Use Modular Content

Break down your educational content into smaller, modular components, such as topics, sections, and snippets. This modular approach allows for easier translation management, as individual components can be translated separately. By keeping content modular, you can reuse translated components across different documents and courses, saving time and effort in the long run.

Apply Language Attributes

For each content component, apply language-specific attributes, such as the xml:lang attribute, to indicate the language of the content. This attribute helps localization teams identify which parts need translation. Here’s an example of how to apply xml:lang to a DITA topic:

<topic id="lesson1">
  <title xml_lang="en-US">Lesson 1: Introduction</title>
  <body xml_lang="en-US">
    <p>This is the introduction to the lesson.</p>
  <body xml_lang="es-ES">
    <p>Esta es la introducción a la lección.</p>

In this example, the xml:lang attribute specifies the language for the content in both English (en-US) and Spanish (es-ES), making it clear which sections need translation.

Collaborate with Localization Teams

Work closely with localization teams and provide them with DITA-specific tools and resources. Ensure that translators have access to DITA-aware translation software that can handle DITA’s structured content. Collaboration and communication with localization experts are crucial to address any specific requirements or challenges related to educational content translation.