How to Translate a Storyline Course: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Translate a Storyline Course

The eLearning industry has risen to prominence with neck-breaking speed thanks to the perks it comes with and the advantages it has over traditional learning. However, there are certain limitations in the mix, and the most significant one is the language barrier. Knowing how to translate a storyline course is a viable solution to this.

If a course creator wants to make his digital course available to a regional or global audience, he has to make it available in the various major languages in the world. This is where eLearning translation comes in.

Articulate Storyline 360 is a platform that enables non-tech-savvy course creators to author interactive learning content that can be accessed via mobile phones and PCs. Now, to make this digital product available to your target audiences around the world, you need to know how to translate a storyline course.

There are two ways to carry out the translation process – manual translation on Storyline 360 or Storyline 360 eLearning localization XLIFF. We recommend the latter and will show you the process. Stay with us!

How to Translate a Storyline Course?

Step 1: Prepare Course for Translation (XLIFF, Scripts, Non-editable Images)

Prepare course for translation

Below is the process to export XLIFF for translation:

  • Open the course you’ve created on the Storyline 360 platform.
  • Go to the “file” section.
  • Click “Translation”.
  • Choose “Export to XLIFF”.
  • When the next display comes up, select the source language and click “OK” to continue the exporting process for the course copy.
  • Repeat the process according to the number of languages you want to translate your course into.

Scripts will typically be located in the “Notes” section for the narration. But it does not include details of how long it takes to read the script in English, which slide the audio script goes to, or if the voice is male or female. Creating a document that includes the script as well as the time of the audio clip and voice, is very important! Typically this can be done in Microsoft Word or Excel.

Prepare course for translation 2.jpg

This is critical so once translation is complete a voice-over artist can then read the script in the appropriate amount of time and create each audio clip. Especially if you have multiple voices throughout the course, this can get complex and confusing, so this is essential.

Many times a course will have non-editable images that are screenshots or some other picture that has words in it. Most times, this text will need to be translated, but because the image is not editable, you’ll need to get the editable version or recreate it by writing down the content in the image. Having the editable version will typically be easier, but if a screenshot or jpeg, you’ll need to type out the content.

Step 2: Translate the Content

Storyline 360 is not a course translation platform. Now that you’ve exported the file in XLIFF, prepared the scripts, and have editable text for any images, you can upload them all on a TMS (Translation Management System). If you don’t have a TMS, working with a professional translation company specialising in eLearning localization is key. They use this software for Storyline 360 eLearning XLIFF localization. The tool allows them to manage the translation process, translators, quality assurance checks, and more.

Translation has too many steps to list, especially when it comes to doing quality assurance. So partnering with a professional elearning translation company like Transcend Translation ensures this goes smoothly. They have the tools, expertise, and language experts to save you time, headaches, and money.

Step 3: Import the Translated Course Back to Storyline 360

Import the Translated Course Back to Storyline 360
  • Before doing this, create a copy of the original course on Articulate Storyline 360 by clicking “Duplicate.”
  • When importing the translated file, save it with a name that includes the target language you want to translate it into for easy identification.
  • Now, open the course copy.
  • Like in the first step, go to the “file” section.
  • Choose “Translation.”
  • Select “Import.”
  • When the pop-up comes up, select the file format as XLIFF (it may also appear as .xlf).
  • Once done, you’ll be notified, and the course duplicate will change to the translated version when you click “OK” (Please note that the process can take longer if the course is a big file). The course layout, design, and formatting should remain the same.

Step 4: Revision and QA

Articulate has a review tool known as “Review 360,” which can also be used on Storyline 360 content. This is where the quality of the translation is reviewed “in-context” to ensure there are no errors. You can publish the course without having to format the slides and provide the 360 link to your SMEs for each language to review. The SMEs can provide feedback and recommendations to change the translation which you’ll need to do in the XLIFF file(s) and script file(s).

Step 5: Voice-over

Now that the translations have been finalized, you can confidently provide the translations to your voice-over artist for each language with the script you created. If you have multiple voices for each language then you can highlight their appropriate sections to each artists.

They will need to record each audio clip and you will need to make sure they are appropriately labeled so you can then add them back into the course and replace the English version.

Step 6: Formatting & DTP

As you probably recognized before, when you upload the XLIFF file into Storyline, the text and images will need to be reformatted. Languages expand and contract from English. So formatting each slide, inputting the voice-overs, adjusting the images, making sure proper word breaks, and other tasks, must be completed to have a polished localized course.

Step 7: Final Quality Assurance (QA) and Functionality Test

Finally, you are done! Well hold on there. I know this process has been long, but you really need to complete one more full review. This would check that all the text is translated, buttons all work properly, and have an SME take the course to ensure everything is working exactly how you’d expect. Usually there will be a few issues you’ll catch in this final pass but it will all the difference in the world to your learners knowing you have quality trainings in their language. This speaks volumes to them and how much you care about them.

Step 8: Publish and Distribute

Now, your translated content has been created and proofread. The next thing is to make it available to your target audience. Go to the file menu and select “Publish.”

Best Practices to Translate a Articulate Storyline Course

  • Plan for Text Expansion: The translated content may have larger texts than the original content due to text expansion. When you translate a sentence from English to Russian, it may be longer. This expansion will overflow into other elements in the content and could ruin the course design. There are two ways to plan for this. First, make room for extra texts in the target language when you’re designing your course content. Second, shrink text on overflow. To do this:
    • Right-click the slide(s)
    • Go to “Format Shape”
    • Click “Text box.”
    • Activate “Shrink text on overflow.”
  • Do a Separate Translation for Texts in Images: This content doesn’t export automatically with the XLIFF file. So you can do it manually and translate them separately or use software that can translate image-embedded texts.
  • Translate other course elements and external attachments, such as closed captions.
  • Keep your source language simple and avoid using colloquialisms or culture-based idioms, which can complicate translations.