We’re glad you’re interested in translating the eLearning course. This page provides you with the practical information you need for translating, as well as the source content. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions during the process.
Some people use machine translation (e.g., Google Translator) to translate everything into the target language and then review the output and make adjustments. Please don’t do it! It never results in a good enough text that the audience deserves. If the machine translations were good enough, we would have written a script to convert everything into all languages using Google APIs.
Please accept this work only if you have the time and will to do a real translation that the audience would love and appreciate – one you would be proud of!
The whole content and user interface text is available in the translation package. It’s 35,000 words, which is equivalent to approximately 70 pages of standard text.
Working with the source files
The source files are plain text, and it’s best to use a full-featured text editor to work with them to have a spelling and grammar checker and other useful features. If you’re unsure which text editor to use, our recommendation is Atom, which is free and open-source, and easy to use. If you didn’t have spell-checking for your target language, let us know, and we’ll help you set it up.
Note: You can install a Grammarly package inside Atom and use that for spell checking.
Nature of the course
You’ve probably taken the course before, but if not, it’s best to do so before starting the translation to have a better understanding of the nature of the course.
This course is an interactive fiction, which is a type of story or game where the user plays the role of the main character and based on the decisions they make, they will have different experiences in the story. Those experiences are how they learn the content.
Various P3.express keywords are used in this story. It’s essential for each language of the course to use the exact same translations used in the manual for the same language.
Names and Genders
The name of characters in this story are selected to satisfy two criteria: First, we wanted the names to represent as many nations as possible. Because of this, we don’t recommend changing them to common names in the target language; it’s best to keep the original names and embrace diversity.
The second key attribute of the names is that they are all unisex names because we didn’t want to encourage gender discrimination. To do so, the English text has been written in a way that avoids using “he” and “she”, and there are no genders implied. Depending on the target language, you may have one of these situations:
- The language may not have any form of grammatical gender, in which case, you don’t have to worry about anything.
- There may be only few gender constraints in the language that you can avoid, similar to English. In that case, you need to put extra effort into keeping the text gender-neutral.
- There may be unavoidable gender marks in your language. In that case, you will have to assume genders for characters. Please make sure they are balanced.
Structure of the course
The course consists of a number of passages. Each passage has some content such as conversations, followed by one or more choices. Each choice brings the user to another passage. There are a little more than 400 passages in the story.
Each passage is in a separate file in the translation package.
This is a sample passage:
u: There’s a great opportunity here: The local authority has decided to invest a large amount of money - 42,000 artopools to be exact - in promoting art and culture in Artopolis.
u: Our legal consultant believes they’ll pay half of the costs of the convention center.
j-budget1: “Do we have an overall idea of the budget?”
j-strings-attached: “I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to depend on government funding, as there are always strings attached.”
j-approval: “Amazing! Is the project approved, or is it still the initial studies?”
Each element in the sample above is explained in the following sections below.
The content is what you have on top of the page. Each line starts with a voice indicator, which is one of the following:
- s: status – something about the context (e.g., time or place)
- q: Inner thoughts of the main character
- i: What the main character says out loud
- u: What other people say out loud
Make sure you won’t change those indicators at all.
On the bottom of each passage you can find one or more choices. Each choice starts with “j-” (short for “jump”), followed by the name of the target passage.
Make sure you don’t change the name of passages because that would break the links. So, for example, “j-approval: " should stay intact in all translations, and you shouldn’t translate the word “approval” because it’s the name of the next passage, and not part of the content visible to the learners. Everything after “:” in the choice is the visible text that requires translation.
The links refer to the name of the passage files, so, make sure you don’t change filenames either.
When translating the choices, please pay attention to the quotation marks: Some choices are about saying things, and those are inside quotation marks. Other choices are about certain responses and actions… something other than what you’d say directly, and those are not inside quotation marks.
As you progress, you’ll see a few other constructs, such as:
The reason I wanted to talk to you today was to see whether…
These are blocks of text that represent emails, documents, etc. This syntax determines their style. There are various types of block; “e---” for emails, “d---” for documents, “t---” for mind map trees, “g---” for Gantt charts, etc. As you can imagine, the starting and ending markers (e.g., “e---” and “---e”) should not changes in your translation.
The Gantt charts and mind map trees use a number of equal signs at the beginning of each element to determine their hierarchy. The number of equal signs should not change.
Sometime words or phrases are surrounded in certain symbols that determine their style:
Lists are constructed like the following:
* an item
* another item
* yet another item