What is the impact of localization on the use of non-Latin characters in DITA content?

When it comes to the localization of DITA content, particularly for languages with non-Latin characters, there are several notable impacts on the content structure, translation process, and overall user experience.

Content Encoding and Fonts

Non-Latin characters, such as those in languages like Chinese, Arabic, or Japanese, may have different encoding requirements. These characters often require specific fonts and encoding standards to display correctly. Organizations need to ensure that the DITA content supports the required character encodings and fonts to display the content accurately in different languages. This involves selecting appropriate fonts and encoding settings within the DITA content to handle non-Latin characters effectively.

Translation Complexity

Translating DITA content with non-Latin characters can be more complex and time-consuming than working with Latin-based languages. The translation process may require specialized translators who are proficient in the target language’s writing system. Additionally, variables and conditional processing that involve non-Latin characters can introduce complexities. Organizations must plan for additional translation time and potential revisions to ensure the translated content reads naturally and is culturally appropriate.

User Experience

Non-Latin characters can impact the overall user experience of DITA content. It’s essential to consider factors like text expansion or contraction, line breaks, and overall layout when content is translated. For example, translating content from English to Chinese may result in text expansion, potentially affecting the layout of tables, images, and other elements. Organizations need to review and adapt the DITA content layout to ensure that the translated content is presented in a user-friendly and visually appealing manner.


Here’s an example illustrating the impact of non-Latin characters on DITA content:

<topic id="product_description">
  <title>产品描述 (Product Description)</title>
    <p>这是产品的详细描述,包括功能、规格和用途。 (This is a detailed description of the product, including features, specifications, and usage.)</p>
      <title>产品外观 (Product Appearance)</title>
      <image href="product_image.jpg" />

In this example, non-Latin characters (Chinese) are used alongside the English translation to represent the impact of localization on DITA content.