Summary: If you create content for Articulate in any other language than English, there are a few things you need to know.
Choose Your Language
If English is not your first language or you’re building courses that are not going to be in English, here is a list of the top ten issues and tips to get that first course up and loaded on your platform.
And, if you haven’t seen it already, you can have an approximate translation of this article into one of over 50 languages by using the Google Translate button above!
- Decimal symbol
- Learning Games
- Publishing “Non-western” Fonts
- Right to Left languages
- Articulate Online interace
- Changing the text labels in Presenter
To make sure that the buttons and messages within the Articulate Presenter player interface are in your language, you need to go to Articulate -> Player Templates -> Custom Labels. There, you can select one of the already configured languages or create your own set of labels.
- Changing the text labels in Quizmaker
- Changing the Results Slides in Quizmaker
- Changing the text labels in Engage
- Engage Glossary
Did you know that the decimal symbol changes from country to country? The decimal symbol is the symbol used to mark the decimal point in a number like 3.14159. In the US, UK and English speaking countries, the decimal symbol is like in the number above, a point or full stop. But in many, many countries such as Germany, Spain and most of South America, Italy, France and most of Western Europe, the decimal symbol is represented by a comma like 3,14159
This difference has been found to cause issues when using Articulate in countries using the comma as a decimal symbol. The most dramatic issue is when the published output loses all its images, leaving only text. Annotations and animations can also be affected.
The solution is quite easy and harmless – change the decimal symbol on your system from a comma to a point on your computer.
The Learning Games in Articulate Presenter are great but if your language contains accents or special characters not found in the English alphabet, then you probably won’t be able to use them. This is because the Learning Games do not support Unicode characters.
Basically any words that you write with accents or special characters will not show up when you publish (the whole letter disappears) making the games unusable.
The workaround is to use Quizmaker to create your games. This certainly works with the Choices and Sequences Learning Game where you have two similar question types in Quizmaker. Just the Word Quiz is difficult to emulate in Quizmaker.
With the exception of “right to left” languages and the Learning Games, you should be able to publish every other language text correctly in Articulate Presenter. You may need to make sure that the option to publish to “Non-western” fonts is selected in the Presentation Options of Articulate Presenter (see below). You should be fine in both Engage and Quizmaker.
One tip to remember when publishing to Japanese, Hindi or Chinese for example and you are finding that your font is not converting correctly, is to try using the Arial Unicode MS font instead. While the font might change slightly, the text should publish perfectly and it is an easy adjustment to make.
If you are looking to publish to Arabic, then you will need to use some other software as Articulate does not support right to left languages (ie. languages where the words and letters begin on the right of the page and move leftwards). This used to be a limitation of Flash itself but Flash 10 now allows it. Publishing to Arabic can be important for large companies wishing to publish in a multitude of languages. There is no solution here though please let me know if you have a workaround. Let us hope a future version of Articulate Studio will support this.
While it is possible to pretty much convert all Articulate content you have into almost every language, if you use Articulate Online to distribute that content, you will still need to use English text labels on the system interface.
There is some customization that you can put in place however, including writing a welcome message in the language of your choice in the User Portal. (Settings -> User Portal Settings)
Changing the text labels in Quizmaker is as easy as in Presenter. Go to Player Templates in the Quizmaker ribbon and then edit your current template or create a new one. Select Text Labels and choose one of the set languages or create your own language template.
I have mentioned this tip more than once already but no list of “non-English” issues and tips would not be complete without the reminder that you can edit the text and content of the Pass Result and Fail Result Slide in Quizmaker via Slide View.
First click on the Pass Result button in the Quizmaker ribbon.
Then go into Slide View and make your edits.
You’ll need to do the same for the Fail Result slide.
When it comes to changing the text labels in Engage, there is not much to do as there is only one label. The rest is user defined content be it the interaction title, the step headings etc. In fact, you only need to change a text label if you publish Engage to Presenter.
The “Next Slide” label can appear when an Engage interaction has been completed or can be made visible thoughout. You can also remove it altogether. If you want to have it showing, you’ll need to change the language in the Interaction Properties in Presenter/PowerPoint. Just go to the slide where you have placed your Engage interaction and click on Properties. Then change the Button Label text to the target language.
Your Next Slide button will be translated in the published output.
The Engage Glossary is one of the more useful and impressive interactions Engage has to offer but if your alphabet different from the English 26-alphabet type, then you’ll find some of the functions unavailable. Take this example using Norwegian terms. If you click on the A or the H letters on top, you will see that 4 of the 6 terms just don’t appear at all.
You can imagine the difficulties with the Greek alphabet not to mention Chinese, Japanese, Russian etc. Even Spanish has Ñ as one of its letters.
The workaround is to hide the letters at the top of the interaction so that all your terms are displayed in the left-hand panel at all times. Go into the interaction properties in the Engage glossary and on the Glossary tab, uncheck the option Enable Filter.
Your Engage glossary will now look like this:
There are a few blog articles on the Articulate website that you might want to look at if you are creating content in non-Western Fonts.
If you have any other tips on using Articulate with a language other than English, let me know and I can add them to the list.