What is the typical workflow for translating DITA content?

Translating DITA content involves a structured workflow to ensure that content is accurately localized for different languages or regions. The process typically includes several stages to maintain the integrity of DITA documents while adapting them for different linguistic and cultural contexts.

Content Analysis and Extraction

The first step in the workflow is to analyze the content and extract the parts that require translation. This involves identifying DITA topics, maps, and other structural elements within the documents. Each topic or map may contain metadata that specifies the target language or region. These are identified for translation, and the content is extracted for localization.

Translation and Localization

Once the content is extracted, it is translated into the target language. Professional translators familiar with DITA XML ensure that not only the text but also the structure and formatting are correctly adapted. The localization process may involve adjusting date formats, currencies, units of measurement, and other locale-specific elements. Cultural adaptation is also considered to make the content contextually relevant to the target audience.

Quality Assurance and Validation

After translation and localization, a quality assurance step is crucial to verify that the content is linguistically and culturally accurate. This often includes proofreading, linguistic validation, and functional testing to ensure that DITA elements like links, cross-references, and conditional processing still function correctly in the target language. Any issues are addressed and resolved during this stage.


Here’s an example of how DITA content might be marked for translation:

<topic id="introduction" translate="yes" xml_lang="es">
  <title translate="yes">Introducción</title>
    <p translate="yes">Bienvenido a nuestra plataforma.</p>
    <p translate="yes">Estamos encantados de ayudarte.</p>

In this DITA topic, the translate attribute and xml:lang attribute indicate that the content is marked for translation into Spanish. The title and body of the topic are specified for translation.