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Tips for eLearning Translation Projects in Storyline 360

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Last updated on June 19th, 2020 at 06:24 am

elearning translation for storyline 360

As the world post COVID-19 adapts to remote work setups, we thought it was time to talk about translation and eLearning. Short for electronic Learning, eLearning can be defined as any online training. However, here at JR Language (and for the sake of this blog) we will be defining eLearning as courses that involve slides, audio/narration, videos, and interactive content such as true/false and multiple-choice questions.

eLearning is being used across a wide variety of companies for employee training – interactive courses being known for helping individuals stay focused and learn more, as well as allowing them to take the courses at their own place and location. Now that many companies are working remotely, operations must continue – without in-person training and onboarding.

As time passes, companies may also be finding that the remote worker structure to be a good fit for their business and continue to work remotely into the future.

Storyline 360, of the Articulate suite for eLearning, has over 40,000 customers and is going to be the reference point of software for this blog, though the tips can be used across all eLearning projects. If you are doing research before selecting an eLearning software and you know you will be translating the content of the course, Storyline 360 is a good choice! The software itself has a simple translation feature that makes the work smooth for us and allows us to ensure a quick turnaround time for any client.
However, as with any project, there are things you can do to make the process easier and quicker for everyone!

Our translation tips for eLearning are going to be based on 3 important tips for the creation of engaging eLearning content. Discuss your eLearning course with a translation services company before designing it. Our engineers,designer, and project manager can give you guidance and recommendations that will help the translation process after you have completed designing the course.

1) Design Pages for Optimal display

Designing the course pages for optimal display is important, but even more important if your eLearning course is going to be translated.
A simple design of your course is the first thing to consider when constructing the course. Too much information and clutter can be distracting. Without the clutter, the course-taker can more easily focus on the knowledge and important points you want to convey rather than seeing any complex design work.

2) Pay attention to Readability

Readability in an eLearning course goes a long way facilitating the experience for the user. The size and style of the fonts, as well as the overall design and use of white space in the layout design, helps the readability of the course. Every page, every element adds to the overall experience.
Be mindful that your course is going to be translated. Be aware that different languages will have different characteristics that could affect the original design of the course, For example, Arabic is read right-to-left and Chinese characters will affect the overall format.
Fonts are also a key consideration when designing your course. Simple, readable fonts allow the reader to concentrate on the content rather than trying to read that fun-looking font. Legibility is a key component when designing an eLearning course.
If you have something you want to stand out, then consider using elements to achieve that goal other than a fussy font to catch the reader’s attention. There are many digital images and tricks that can be used to draw the reader’s attention without sacrificing readability.

3) Use Multimedia Elements for Enhancement and Fun

We talked about keeping the design of the course simple, but no one likes reading dry material and without a little bit of fun, the mind can wander. Adding and mixing in multimedia elements to the content is a great way to achieve a more engaging and immersive learning experience. From infographics to videos, animations, and images. add them in an organized and structured way knowing your course is going to be translated. Have all the elements prepared and organized to facilitate the translation.
Using best practices for organization, naming, and assembly not only helps any translation needed, it also facilitates updates and maintenance to the original material.

6 Relevant Tips for eLearning Translation Projects in Storyline 360

Below we explain elements to take into consideration when doing eLearning translation

  • Avoid placing .png and .jpeg images in the course if they contain text you would like translated.
    This tip really goes for any translation project, but with the size and depth of eLearning projects, it is best to keep the number of moving parts to a minimum. If you place an image of a table in the course rather than a table itself, there is additional time and cost that is required to edit and recreate the image.
  • Unique file naming.
    As previously mentioned, there’s lots of moving parts in eLearning courses! Storyline360 allows you to record audio within the program – be sure that as you create and cut apart recordings that they are appropriately named. Using the first few words of the recording is an easy way to come up with unique names while also identifying the content within the recording. This helps us ensure that when we replace the original files, there are no mix-ups that would need to be fixed during QA.
  • Only one audio file per slide.
    If your project includes audio files for narration, arguably the best way to ensure that there is no trouble with audio translation is to only have one audio file per slide. Instead of navigating layers and long timelines, just create a whole new slide!
  • If you have multiple audio files per slide, leave several seconds of silence between the slides.
    If your project must have multiple audio files per slide, putting buffer time between each file is strongly advised. Not only is this a good practice in any language to allow the listener time to process, but many languages take different amounts of time to say the same thing – for example, Spanish sentences are generally 25% longer that English sentences. Leaving gaps allows us to have the translated audio be longer than the original, meaning that the information can be presented at a comfortable pace. After all, this is a learning piece and it is important to give enough time for the learning process.
  • White space in design goes a long way.
    Leaving ample white space in the original document is both a good practice for making a great presentation, and a good practice to help ensure that after translation the text can be comfortably maintained in the same formatting. As mentioned in the previous step, there can be significant expansion of the sentences, which may then require the translated text to be changed to a smaller font size and thus decreasing readability.
  • Avoid soft returns and individual words in textboxes.
    Soft returns and words that are separated from the content they are a part of can (and in the case of separate text boxes, will) end up causing manual rework and spacing issues after translation.

eLearning courses are an ever expanding and evolving resource that is helpful for both internal training and client training, whether onboarding a new employee, showing a new client how to use your product or software, or just introducing a new policy. This learning platform is becoming more important than ever, and the translation of eLearning materials open other options for the creators of the course and for the people looking to learn from it. You need the help of an experienced company for success. You need translation services that are localized, culturally proper and adequate, clear and effective so everyone can fully understand the content of the courses – thus ensuring smooth sailing for the future of your business.

Victoria Vildow
Victoria Vildow
Since 2018, Victoria Wildow has brought her technology centered mind forward in her role as Project Manager at JR Language. She is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Media Arts and Technology program. Victoria helps ensure our clients' various designs maintain the same look and feel in their new languages while also managing projects in various media. She loves learning about new technologies and is currently learning Spanish in her free time.