What role does localization of idiomatic expressions play in DITA translation?

Localization of idiomatic expressions plays a crucial role in DITA translation, as it goes beyond mere linguistic adaptation. Idiomatic expressions are culturally specific phrases and sayings that may not have direct equivalents in other languages. Adapting these expressions in technical documentation is essential for ensuring that content is not only understood but also resonates with the local audience’s cultural context.

Preserving Meaning and Context

When translating DITA content that includes idiomatic expressions, the goal is not only to find linguistic equivalents but also to preserve the meaning, context, and cultural nuances of the original expressions. This requires a deep understanding of both the source and target cultures. Translators and localization experts work together to find idiomatic expressions in the target language that convey the same intent and cultural relevance.


Here’s an example of how DITA content can be adapted to localize idiomatic expressions:

<topic id="customer-feedback">
  <title>Customer Feedback</title>
      <phrase id="idiom-golden-opportunity">Seizing this golden opportunity, we hit the ground running.</phrase>

In this example, the DITA topic includes an idiomatic expression, “Seizing this golden opportunity, we hit the ground running.” When translating this content, the localization team ensures that the idiom is replaced with an equivalent expression that conveys the same sense of seizing an important chance and starting quickly, tailored to the cultural context of the target audience.