Translating Articulate Presentation Content Languages

What is the best practice way of translating Articulate presentations (including slide text, speakers notes, interactions and quizzes) into languages other than English. We're looking for a time-saving way to accomplish this, since slide-by-slide translations and new narrations are time consuming and costly.

7 Replies
Jonathan Workman

Jerry - Welcome to the community!  I am honored to get to respond to your first post!

Third-party translation services are costly.  We recently received a quote from a vendor for one of our compliance courses and it was thousands of dollars (we translate our content into Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese).  Currently, we're using either in-house resources or relied on our regions to contract with local contacts for translation work.  Here are my pros and cons regarding in-house/regional translations.

Pros:

  • This method may be cheaper. 
  • Having things done in-house or regionally may increase the possibility that the intent and not merely the words are translated. 
  • I am usually not involved in the vetting process between our company and the vendor.  I am simply delivered the translation after the vetting has taken place.

Cons:

  • I convert everything ( except the PPT file itself) to Word for translation.  After receiving the translated material back, I have to repackage it before I can post the content.  This is quite time consuming.
  • There is a significant time gap between when the English version of the training is developed and when an employee sees the translated version - sometimes up to 6 months!  I go through cycles of development and cycles of translation to make it easier on our translators and regions.
  • Communication.  Working with a region often means time differences and language barriers.  It may take a few days to have a conversation that may only take 10 minutes.

Conclusion:

We are looking at 3rd party translation service providers, not only for training, but for all other company translation needs.  Third party companies can turn things around quickly and will work directly with my regional contacts to ensure the meaning and wording is correct.  I also receive the final product packaged and ready to post to my LMS. 

Does this cost more?  No question.  But the time savings I receive that allows me to work on developing new content more than balances the cost.  Not to see if our company will share the same view...

Hope this helps from at least one person's perspective...best of luck!

Jerry Zion

Thanks for the responses. Yes, the same course/topic is published separately for each language. We've decided, for now, to keep the narration in English, but slides, speaker's notes and quiz are all translated.

Like Jonathan, I have elected, for now, to do all the translation integration myself---though we have selected a translation provider who is capable and has delivered fully revised PowerPoints so all I have to do is the Articulate quiz and re-publish with the English translation. Revisions come from selectively chosed in-country native speakers familiar with our products and their uses so that everything is very colloquial and easy to understand for the end-user/consumer of the finished training module.

I will be most happy when we can replace English narrations with specific language ones by native speakers---but for now, that step alone is very costly.

Have a look at our results: http://www.flukebiomedical.com/Biomedical/usen/advantagetraining/PatientMonitorTraining.htm

European Spanish versions of content on the page linked (above) should show up in a few days.

Jonathan Workman

Karen -

Becasue we use regional translators we don't get all the content back at the same time.  Obviously the English content is available first.  We then release the other languages as they are completed.  This is more value in releasing our content in pieces rather than waiting until we have all languages together before release.  That would delay our course release dates by months.  I would love to do one module, have the learner choose the language up front and go, but unfortunately translation constraints prevent this.  If we move to a centralized translation service in the future, this becomes more of a possibility.

Jerry Zion

Karen and Jonathan: Yes--I'd love the "select your language" look and feel too---but someone would have to show me the Articulate functionality that allows that to happen---and my guess is the file size would be massive when narrations are considered.  That's the reason we publish each language separately, though the base material is the same.