How to take your e-learning global

Do you need to translate your Articulate Studio ’13 courses into multiple languages? If so, you’ll definitely want to know about our translation capabilities. Now you can easily get your Articulate Studio ’13 courses into a whole host of languages, including support for right-to-left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew and double-byte character sets (DBCS) such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Here are the steps to transform your original Studio ’13 project into another language:

Change the Course Player Language

It’s a breeze to change the display language for most of the elements on your course player, including messages, navigation buttons, and menu tabs.

From the Articulate tab, just click the Player button to display the Player Properties window. Then, click the Text Labels button and use the language drop-down to select a new language.

Translate Presenter Elements and Embedded Content

The next job is to translate all of your project’s embedded content, including Quizmaker quizzes and Engage interactions, as well as player elements like slide titles and menu items.

There are three steps for this task:

  1. Export the Presenter elements and embedded content
  2. Translate the exported text
  3. Import the translated Presenter elements and embedded content

Step 1: Export the Presenter elements and embedded content

  1. Go to the Articulate tab on the PowerPoint ribbon, click Translate, and choose Export.
  2. Browse to the location where you’d like to save the exported text.
  3. Assign a file name to your document.
  4. Use the Save as Type dropdown to select one of the following formats:

Word Document (*.doc): 
If you’ll be translating the text manually, this is probably your best option.

Word Document with Reference Column (*.doc):
This is the same document as above, but with an additional column that displays the text in its original language.

XML Localization Interchange File Format (*.xliff): 
If you’re using a translation service or translation software, this may be the format you’ll need.

Step 2: Translate the exported text

After exporting the text from your project, use the resulting file to translate it into other languages using your choice of a professional translator, online translation service, or translation software.

  • It is important that you only modify the text in the column labeled “Translate this column” and leave all other text unchanged.
  • Don’t translate result slide variable references, such as %Results.ScorePoints%, for embedded quizzes.
  • Any text formatting changes (font, size, color, style, alignment, etc.) you make in this document for quiz or interaction content will also be reflected in your project when you import the file back into Presenter.

Step 3: Import the translated Presenter elements and embedded content

After translating, import the Word or XML file back into Presenter.

  1. Open your original presentation in PowerPoint.
  2. Go to the Articulate tab on the PowerPoint ribbon, click Translate, and choose Import.
  3. Browse to the Word document or XML file that contains the translated text and click Open.
  4. When you see the Congratulations! message, click OK.

PowerPoint Slide Content

Finally, your PowerPoint slide content and notes need to be translated separately, using Microsoft Office (2007, 2010, 2013) or a third-party service.

There are a variety of options available for translating PowerPoint content, but it’s often easiest to simply provide translators with a copy of the PowerPoint file so they can translate it in context along with the other slide objects.

If you do ship your PowerPoint file off to a translation service, be sure to pair it back up with its associated Articulate files before you publish it. The PowerPoint file (*.pptx) must be in the same folder as its related Articulate project file (*.ppta), and they must have the same file name. For example: SafetyTraining.pptx and SafetyTraining.ppta.

As our world gets increasingly interconnected, it’s all the more useful to transform your courses into multiple languages. It just might make you an internationally recognized E-Learning Hero!

If you want to try this yourself but don’t have Studio ’13, no problem. Just sign up for a fully functional, free 30-day trial. And don’t forget to post your questions and comments in the forums! We’re here to help. For more e-learning tips, examples, and downloads, follow us on Twitter.

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Gordon Harding
Rachel Forshee

Hi Mike... I'm actually really glad you're writing back because I began some experimentation on my own and discovered something interesting. Since the goal is only to have a dual language quiz, instead of manually filling the second quiz with translated text, I did a "save as" into a separate folder and used the translate tool to translate the Articulate files. Then, I dropped the translated quiz into the main folder and through the Articulate ribbon, added the additional quiz into the main structure. Thant's when the fun began. I'm not quite sure how the translate tool works, but it must create an index that then populates fields such as slide titles, engage files, etc... Because, what was happening is that if the translated file "marinated" for too long within the main untranslated c... Expand