How to translate an Articulate Storyline course in four easy steps

After you’ve created a course in Articulate Storyline, you may need to translate it into a different language. Fortunately, Storyline offers you the possibility to do so with the help of these four easy steps:

Step #1: Export Translation

Click the Articulate Menu, in the upper left corner. Click Translation and then Export.


Choose between 3 exports: .doc, .doc with reference column or XML .xliff file. If you choose .doc, the document comprises of a table with two columns. The first column has the IDs of every object in the Storyline course (do not edit these). The second column has the text that needs translation. It’s up to you to translate the text into the required language.


Remember, any formatting changes you make (font, size, color, style, alignment, etc.) will be reflected in your project. And more importantly, be careful not to translate the variables that Storyline uses (e.g. %variable%), because you’ll have a problem with their associated triggers. Finally, save the document and click the Import option from the Articulate Menu.

#2: Re-arrangement of objects

Some text may be longer or shorter in different languages, therefore you may need to transform or re-arrange text boxes and shapes in the Storyline course so everything fits on screen accordingly.

 #3: Voice synchronization

If you have narration in your course, you will have to re-record it in the new language. Be careful though, because if you also have animations, you will have to resynchronize everything!

 #4: Player translation

The final step is to translate the labels of the player. But you don’t have to worry about that, since Storyline provides you many default languages to choose from. Just click Player then Text Labels and choose the language that you prefer from the drop down menu. Of course, you can edit each label to show the text that you want. And voila! Just click OK and you’re ready to go!


Now everything in the Storyline course is translated into the language of your choice in four easy steps!

A Tip for Narrating

If you have narration in your course that is synchronized with animation, a good tip is to have a symbol (like an asterisk *) in the narration notes, before every text/shape that is animated. This will help you resynchronize the narration with the animation, in case you don’t know the language the course is translated. Moreover, if you want to send the translated audio narration script, the exported file contains this script (has the ID .Note). Unfortunately, there is no other way to export the notes from the notes tab within Storyline.

Keep In Mind the Length of Languages

According to    Smart Little Site  , the average word in the English language is 8.23 characters long – compared to Croatia’s shorter 7.06 and the lengthy German 11.66 characters (almost 50% longer).

Greek is also way up there (10.92 characters), and Polish (8.75 characters), French (10.09 characters) and Spanish (8.80 characters) are all greater in terms of word-length when compared to the English.

Languages with Special Characters

Storyline supports   Double-Byte Character Sets (DBCS), which makes developing courses in Chinese, Japanese and Korean very easy. Moreover, Storyline supports the translation of the player in many different languages, even languages with special characters like Chinese and Hebrew. Storyline allows you to choose the direction that text is read from right to left or left to right. The only thing left to do is to translate the content.


Another Useful Way of Using the Translation Feature:

If you are using the screen recording feature in Articulate Storyline, and playing back the recording in step-by-step mode, you can choose to display captions on screen to describe the steps. Storyline produces these captions automatically based on how the target software is built and uses default terminology such as “Click” or “Type.” If your corporate dictionary requires you to use the terms “ Select” or “Enter,” rather than changing them on every slide, which can take a lot of time, especially in a large project (our last software simulation contained over 800 simulation slides!), try exporting the translation document and using the MS Word “Find & Replace” feature to save time.