How to design Translation File Format for Multi-lingual elearning Courseware Development?

How to design Translation File Format for Multi-lingual elearning Courseware Development?

How to design Translation File Format for Multi-lingual elearning Courseware Development?

In this blog, I will share my experience of working on Multi-lingual eLearning courseware development.

First and foremost, you need to develop multilingual courses in such a way that it is easy to translate and localize into multiple languages. Especially, if there is voice-over in the course, which needs synchronization with the animation.

Avoid using the images with text superimposed on it. If textual content is required, then add it to the top of the images separately, but avoid merging it with the image.

If you’re using authoring tools like Lectora, Captivate, Articulate, etc., then you can use the translation tools to develop the translation file easily. If you are using other course development tools like Adobe Flash or coding, then you need to create the translation file manually. This format works for the legacy courses, which are developed without considering translation in future.

Please look at the below format for Non-voiceover course. This format is applicable to any languages. In the below format, you will find 3 tables.

  • In the first table, you need to write the translation language details.
  • In the second table, you need to include all the general text for translation.
  • In the third table, you need to put the text page wise.

In Table 1, you need to type the source and the translated language and the date of translation. Translator should update the versions after each revision or changes.


Table 2 consists of global content including all the general content based on the course like GUI text, help, glossary, resources pages etc.

  • Page #: This column is used as reference for translators and developers.
  • Source Text: Put all the source text. Break the content into paragraphs. Use separate rows for each paragraph.
  • Translated Text: In this column, the translators will translate text based on the source text.
  • Image/ Buttons/Other Text: In this column, input all the words included on the images (If present).
  • Translated Text For Image/Buttons/Other: In this column, the translators will translate the image text.
Table 3 consists of text for translation. For each page, there will be a separate block for reference. In the first column, mention the unique ID of the page as reference. The other columns are similar to the Table 2.

Courses with voiceover:

Online Training Courses with voice over are little more complex than courses without voice over. Here you need to synchronize the text animation with audio. You need to be more careful in the format and the content breakup, because only the source language can be understood and has to be matched with the translated language. Below is format of Table 4, which will be useful.


  • Page #: This is used to identify the page/slide.
  • Onscreen & Images Text: In this column, you need to include both onscreen content and the text on the images
  • Translated Text: Translators will write the translated onscreen text.
  • Audio File Name: After the script is recorded slide wise by the narrator, it has to be split into several parts. These smaller audio files are to be renamed as for example, if it is a slide 3 audio, then the split audio file should be named as, 3a, 3b, 3c etc.,
  • Audio Script: Break the audio scripts into parts based on the animation clips.
  • Translated Text: Translators will write the translated onscreen text.

Note: Translators need to be informed about not to translate the “Page #” and “Audio File Name” columns.

Download the translation file format

Have a look at a multi language course on electrical safety done in 8 languages.

View E-book on How to Translate E-learning Courses Effectively

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