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Subject: Multilanguage DocBook documents - best practices needed

Hi Everyone, 

I am in need for your experiences and advice about handling multilanguage DocBook documents (that is, documents in a master language and its translations).

We have a set of DocBook documents (books and articles) that are heavily modular (consisting of 50+ source files), and rich with xrefs, olinks, and screenshots. Currently we have three output formats, but we are planning to add new formats as well. Now these documents has to be translated - currently to one language, possibly to more in the future.

Another gotcha is, that this is is not a one-time translation, but should be maintained and updated about 3-4 times a year with the changes of the original document. (We do use version control.)

So my question is, do you have any recommendations on how to handle and manage the translation and multilanguage building of such a document set? What is the "best" way to organize the source files? I am looking for a solution that, for example, minimizes the risk of breaking links in the translated versions, and also does not require much post-processing on the translated files (except for generating the output files). 

Also, since the translation will be done by an external translation agency (using computer-aided translation tools), storing the source text and the translations in the same file is not really feasible.

Any comment, tip, or recommendation is most welcome.

Kind Regards, 

Robert Fekete

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