Programming tips: Successfully translating eLearning into different languages using Storyline – Part


Let’s continue from where we left off on the previous post, but first let’s do a quick recap on things we have already discussed regarding translation of eLearning modules:

  • Account for space, meaning that always keep in mind what languages is the module going to be translated into, when designing the layout

  • Export the text by using the feature provided in Storyline

  • And don’t change the formatting of the exported text, to avoid any undesired issues when reimporting the translated text.

Translating images

I would say this is one of the most time consuming parts when translating eLearning modules. We cannot avoid using images 100% without text, mostly because some of our clients may want to use images for which the don’t have the source files.

When you are presented with a situation like this, first make sure you create a separate document where you cover all the text that wasn’t exported from Storyline (unfortunately, this software doesn’t export text that comes from images) and send it to translation.

Then, when you have the translation back, you have to put on your Photoshop wizard hat. Hopefully it will be a task as easy as just covering the original text with only colours, or basic shapes, but once in a while you will have to do more than that and get into some serious “phothopping”.

Be ready for that; if your skills don’t go that far, make sure you have a resource available that can do the job.

Translating audio

Unless you are recording the audio yourself (you would be lucky if you have a good voice and know how to speak the language), make sure, from the beginning of the project, to allocate an audio talent for each language, hopefully of the same gender, but preferably one that natively speaks the languages used in the eLearning module.

It is also a good practice to create an audio script document, from the beginning of the project, that way you make your life, your translator’s life and your audio talent’s life, easier.

Also, keep in mind that when importing the new audio files, you will have to switch around animations and assets in the timeline, since the new audio may be shorter or longer than the original one.

Preparing Storyline for your language

Before importing the translated text into storyline, make sure of two things (see screenshot):

  • Auto correct is not enabled

  • The dictionary is set to the language you are translating the eLearning module into

That way, when the text is imported, you won’t have issues with words being changed automatically, as they are being recognized as incorrect (trust me, this will save you a lot of headaches).


Importing translated assets and finalizing translation

Finally, import the document using the feature available in Storyline:


If you are lucky (and if you set yourself up for success), after a couple of minutes, your module will be translated into the new language.

Actually, importing the text would be the first step, then you would have to import images, audio, and checking for formatting issues and areas where you need to sync assets with audio again.

Also, as a last step before publishing, make sure you change the language of your player, that’ll save you a lot of time, since Storyline already comes with default text translated into several languages:


If you want to know more about eLearning and different technologies that can be used, feel free to visit our website and blogs at www.pathwaystrainingandelearning.com.

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