Translating Your Project In Articulate Storyline

April 8, 2013

I haven’t talked much about my love of Articulate Storyline on this blog. I noted it’s preview at Learning Technologies in 2012 but have been so busy using it since it’s launch in May 2012 that I haven’t talked about it much here.

I first started using Storyline during a project for Save the Children UK. Since then I’ve worked in Storyline pretty much every day and I really cannot recommend it highly enough. Following the success of the Save the Children module we were then asked to create French versions of four modules for use in French speaking areas of Africa.

On the face of it this is a really simple process within Storyline and all you have to do is follow these simple steps…

Step 1:

Export the project using the translate function

The resulting file will look something like this.

Step 2:

Send the file to a translation service. I added some explanatory text at the top to request that changes are only made to the right column and no changes should be made to the font/colour/size.

 

Now for the hard part

Only then does your work start. If you have a lot of on-screen text, diagrams and tables all of these will need reformatting. The issue here is that English tends to have fewer letters than many other languages. Don’t just take my word for it on this see http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/462364.html.

At best this can mean hours of resizing and fiddly formatting. At worst it can mean new solutions in layers, interactions and screens. This will require three way discussions between the translator, client and you the developer.

 

Obviously modules with narration will also need re-recording which can be very challenging to edit if your developer doesn’t speak the new language.

Once your amendments are completed you then need to get the translator to review the module to ensure the translation fits the context in which it’s being used. In our experience there were a couple of instances of this so it shouldn’t be overlooked. Any changes will then need to be implemented.

None of these complications are issues with Storyline and from my experience the export/import function is seamless. Each module had one or two lines which did not import properly which resulted in text becoming transparent (so imported but not visible) so it’s worth looking out for this.

 

Other Uses of the Translation Facility

Finally, although this facility is branded as a translation function, it is also a useful way for changes to be made to your course text. By exporting your text in this format you can give it to others for comment and proofing, for example by a communications team. They will probably need to review it in conjunction with an exported version of the project but at least this way they have all the text in front of them to tweak which you can then simply import. When working with the exported version the user just needs to search for the relevant section to find it in the Word document and make those amendments.

So in summary….as far as Storyline goes it’s a simple process but don’t underestimate the time (particularly if you are having to provide a quote prior to the work) to amend screens after the new text has been added.

Good luck with your projects and please let us know in the comments your experience using this facility.

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