Synch translations to video?

Jul 15, 2019

I'm still very new to Storyline 360 and would really appreciate tips or a resource that shows a workflow for this. I have videos made outside Storyline 360 that have audio narration, and the goal is to create Storyline versions with the audio in other languages.  The videos "walk through" a work process, so there are many pauses, and synching narration to the visual is important. I chop each video into short clips, and put each in a slide; create a transcript for each segment in Word, import as text-to-speech, and painstakingly insert commas in the text, or silences in the audio editor, until I have an acceptable text-to-voice soundtrack for each clip (slide), in English.  (Whew! Is there a better way?)  Now, how to create other-language versions?  I can use free translation tools to get translated text, and import that into SL360 as text-to-speech, but the challenge is to get the synching done right - which is hard when I frankly don't understand the language.  Am I going about this all wrong, missing some good way to automate this process?  Thanks!

3 Replies
Jerry Beaucaire

I'm going to suggest a different approach.   Rather than getting the "audio" translated into other languages, I would recommend leaving the video in a default base language such as English.

In your onscreen design, put a full-length blank strip across the bottom of the screen below the video (or on top of the bottom edge).

Now put your onscreen matching narration in this strip.  The strip should be enough to have 2 lines of text, which is hopefully enough for each complete "sentence" of your narration.


Part of the issue with other languages is the order in which verb/noun/adjectives (etc) occur.  They simply don't Line Up one-to-one with English.   But a complete sentence covers the same complete "thought".  Presenting entire thoughts this way in a controlled "box" is the way to go, IMO.

Once you have created the text boxes for each sentence in your video and it matches the onscreen visuals, you would add another STATE to each text box for the next language you are adding.  After adding a SPANISH state and putting in the Spanish version of each box, you would repeat the process for each language.

You can add buttons below the presentation to toggle through the default Language State you want each text box to show, then set triggers at the beginning of each text box to show the correct state based on the current setting of the "language" variable you have set up.


This is a lot of work, but based on the various ways languages present info, I suggest this is the way to keep it all lined up overall, by matching overall thoughts screen by screen.


By having your narrations laid out sentence by sentence, it should make it easier to get your alternate languages aligned out using an approach like this.

Jerry Beaucaire

Remind your superiors that each "audio" track in a different language will require an SME for that language to insure the result is professionally aligned and correct.  That's a human for each language, and this could significantly slow down process time as they may need to interact with the video itself.

There are probably translation services out there for hire that would update the audio track of your video with the new language, they would be insuring the alignment is accurate.  $$

By using text only, you can use a table, like in Excel, and translations can be done at leisure off-line at any pace and added by a single SL author once the table was complete for any one new language.   Online text translation services are notably inexpensive.


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