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

Preparing maritime content for translation in DITA involves following best practices to streamline the localization process and ensure linguistic accuracy. Here are key strategies:

Use “xml:lang” Attributes

Assign “xml:lang” attributes to specific elements or sections within your DITA content to indicate the language of each segment. This allows translators and localization tools to identify which parts require translation and which are language-neutral or pretranslated. For example:

<section xml_lang="en-US">
  <p>This is an English-language section.</p>

Separate Content from Formatting

Ensure that content and formatting are separated in your DITA documents. Formatting details like font styles, colors, and layout should be kept separate from the actual content. This separation makes it easier to apply consistent formatting during the localization process, ensuring that translated content aligns with the original design.

Provide Contextual Information

Include contextual information and explanations where necessary to assist translators in understanding the intended meaning of specific terms or phrases. This is particularly important in maritime content, where domain-specific terminology may require additional context to ensure accurate translation. Use elements like “xref” to link to glossaries or reference materials.


Here’s an example of preparing maritime content for translation in DITA:

<section xml_lang="en-US">
  <p>Ensure the safety of crew members on board.</p>
    <p>Context: This refers to safety measures on ships.</p>

In this example, the “xml:lang” attribute indicates the content’s language, and a contextual note provides additional information to aid translators in accurately rendering the content in the target language.