How to translate content using XML?


I have created a project in German with several slides. Now I want that the translation is done by an external company. This company needs an XML-File instead of the Word-File.

When I export the *.xliff-document it show content like the one below (also attached). Could you help me please with the following questions?

  • The header of the *.xliff shows source-language="en-US" target-language="ge-DE". This is not true as the source language is German. Can I change these project settings somewhere in Articulate Storyline? 
  • How should the translation company make their translation? Should the text - like Dies ist der Titel - be overwritten or do I have to insert new xml-items like <target>This is the title</target>? If I simply replace the text and import the file afterwards, the import-action shows a success-message but the text is not changed.

Source from the *.xliff-dokument

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
  <file original="C:\Users\User\Documents\My Articulate Projects\Test-Translation.story" source-language="en-US" target-language="ge-DE" datatype="xml">
      <tool tool-id="Storyline" tool-name="Storyline" tool-company="Articulate Global" tool-version="1.0" />
      <trans-unit id="68ss6Hc0d1u.Name" xml:space="preserve" approved="no">
        <source xml:lang="en-US">Untitled Scene</source>
        <target state="new" xml:lang="de-DE" />
      <trans-unit id="5oaGxGuPwc7" xml:space="preserve" approved="no">
        <source xml:lang="en-US"><x id="0" ctype="x-{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\deff0\deflang3079{\fonttbl{\f0\fnil\fcharset0 Articulate;}}{\colortbl ;\red0\green0\blue0;}"/><x id="0" ctype="x-\viewkind4\uc1\pard\qc\cf1\lang1033\f0\fs48 "/>Dies ist der Titel<x id="1" ctype="x-\par"/></source>
        <target state="new" xml:lang="de-DE" />
      <trans-unit id="5pSdHWAStwD" xml:space="preserve" approved="no">
        <source xml:lang="en-US"><x id="0" ctype="x-{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg1252\deff0\deflang3079{\fonttbl{\f0\fnil\fcharset0 Articulate;}}{\colortbl ;\red0\green0\blue0;}"/><x id="0" ctype="x-\viewkind4\uc1\pard\cf1\lang1033\f0\fs24 "/>Dies ist der Inhalt<x id="1" ctype="x-\par"/></source>
        <target state="new" xml:lang="de-DE" />
      <trans-unit id="5vX9vZduOHE.Name" xml:space="preserve" approved="no">
        <source xml:lang="en-US">Dies ist der Titel</source>
        <target state="new" xml:lang="de-DE" />
      <trans-unit id="5ukY68CYxFf.Name" xml:space="preserve" approved="no">
        <source xml:lang="en-US">Question Bank 1</source>
        <target state="new" xml:lang="de-DE" />
      <trans-unit id="ProjectTitle.Title" xml:space="preserve" approved="no">
        <source xml:lang="en-US">Test-Translation</source>
        <target state="new" xml:lang="de-DE" />

27 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Franz and welcome to Heroes! 

There is a tutorial here on how to work with file translations for Storyline,  and I believe the "source" language is pulled from what you have set in the Player text labels, and not determined by Storyline reading the text to determine it's German. 

In regards to importing the XML file, in some cases, you may find that translating your Storyline content via XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF) doesn't work as expected. You may receive a successful (congratulations) message, but you may find that your course is still in the original language or that some characters don't display correctly.

This is a known issue. To correct it, export your Storyline text to Microsoft Word for translation instead.

Franz Müller

Hi Ashley,

thank you very much for your quick response!

MS Word vs. XLIFF

The translation process works well with the MS Word files but it doesn't work with the xliff-file. As the company who will translate the content is using a special software (SDL Trados Studio), they would rather prefer the XML-Format for an efficient translation process.

You've written that "in some cases" it won't work. Is there a Workaround I can do, e.g. changing some things in the file, so that it works correctly with an xliff-file? Do you know when this "known issue" will get fixed?

Source Language in XLIFF

I've changed the language of the Player but the language in the xliff-file hasn't been affected: The header of the *.xliff shows source-language="en-US" target-language="ge-DE"

Thank you for your help!

Kind regards,


Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Franz,

I don't have a time frame on when the issue would be fixed unfortunately, but a few of the known reasons include a file with special characters or diacritical marks in the slide titles. I've included this thread in the existing report with our QA team so that when there is additional information to share we'll be able to update you here. 

Could you share your XLIFF file here too? 

Evelyn Hamm

Hello Ashley,

we are having the same problem! Wen need to do the translation ia xliff. It is a critical function for a global working company. Please give me an update or a workaround. Is it possible to sent a not working XLIFF to the support so that they can tell us what signs are to change or what else is to do to make the specific File work?!?

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Evelyn,

Did you review and test the information shared in the links I previously included ( the post right above your reply here)? It's up to the translation tool  to set the state equal to something other than "new". If you modify the file to have state="translated" and then perform the import the translation change is made. You may want to follow up with your team who manages the translation tool to see if they can assist with making this change. 

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Evelyn,

Thanks for clarifying that element. It looks like we're talking in a few different forum discussions, and I'd like to centralize that conversation to ensure I don't miss anything and that you get the help you need. Can you reach out to our Support Engineers using this form and you'll be able to upload your project file and describe the different issues you're running into?  Once you've started a case, please let me know the case number and I'll follow along as well. 

Martin Cap

Dear Ashley, 


I went throught all QAs regarding the same issue everybody seems to have.

I represent a translation agency and we struggle to upoad or SDL 2014 XLIFF to Articulate Storyline 2. 

Tried manual override of
"new" -> "translated" issue
"de-DE" -> "de-GE" language pair issue

Tried various type of exports from SDL and none of it worked. 

When reading this QAs I understand that this issue is at hand for more than 3 years. 

Where you guys able to solve this to some extent? 

Thank you 




Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Martin,

Absolutely - if you can upload it to me here. That's a private link and then I'll be able to test your files and share with our Engineers if needed. The files will only be available to Articulate employees. 

If you have any other questions about that let me know - and just give me a heads up here when you upload the files.