Document Formatting For Language Translation Workers

This article continuing our discussion on document formatting for translation services workers by discussing ideal sentence lengths, the use of upper case letters, accurate page numbering and the use of proper formulated introduction, body and close.  Because most translation workers are already familiar with these formatting elements, we provide brief overview of each one.

Line Length

Excessively long lines cause eye strain; short lines cause the eye to jump back and forth. A few of our Denver translation services workers suggest that if your margins are set up as discussed above, you will have a 60-character line for larger-print typewriters (known as pica or l 0-pitch) or a 72-character line for the smaller-print typewriters (known as elite or 12-pitch). Word processing equipment usually follows these conventions, even allowing a choice of print sizes. Check the user’s manual. References to characters per inch, or cpi, are the same as pitch; l 0 cpi is l 0-pitch and so on.

Upper Case Letters

Our Cincinnati Translation Services workers suggest that translators avoid overusing upper case letters for highlighting. All caps are hard to read because letter shapes don’t vary much. Since people differentiate among letters by their shapes, lowercase letters, with their distinctive shapes, are easier and therefore faster to read. Besides, as with all highlighting techniques, overuse negates the intended effect.

Consistently Numbered Pages

Count your title page as page “i”, without numbering it, and number all subsequent pages up to and including your table of contents and abstract with small roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, and so on). Use Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, and so on) for subsequent pages, numbering the first page of your report proper as page l. Place all page numbers in the upper right corner, two lines below the top edge of the paper and five spaces to the left of the right edge. (Some word processors may limit where the page number can go; check the manual.)

Introduction-Body-Conclusion Structure

Organize your report like any well-structured communication: orientation, discussion, and review.

Section Length

The length of each section depends on your subject and purposes. For instance, a Chicago French Translator suggests that a problem solving report often has a brief introduction outlining the problem. The body may be quite long, explaining the possible and probable causes of the problem. Because the conclusion contains a summary of findings, an overall interpretation of the evidence, and definite recommendations, it will likely be detailed. Only when your investigation uncovers one specific answer or one definite cause will the body section be relatively short. Examples of varying section length, according to subject and purpose, are found in the sample reports throughout this text.

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