Localizing with Camtasia Software

by Mitch Donaldson

Armstrong International, headquartered in Three Rivers, Michigan, provides intelligent system solutions that improve utility performance, lower energy consumption, and reduce environmental emissions while providing an "enjoyable experience." Since mid-2010, Interpro Translation Solutions has been providing a wide variety of content localization and translation services for use by Armstrong's global locations, such as marketing collateral, websites, and e-learning courses, to train Armstrong team members worldwide through their "Armstrong University" portal.

In addition to Armstrong University courses, which are created in Articulate, Armstrong ADAM (which stands for "Armstrong Digital Account Management") is an internally-used customer relationship management database (or CRM) where users can search and access new and prospective client data, track sales, and view sales opportunities. Armstrong selected Interpro to localize the seven English ADAM tutorials to Mandarin Chinese, allowing them to train their China-based business development staff on how to easily and efficiently access and update account, contact, opportunity and activity information.

ADAM was produced with Camtasia – a software suite that has the ability to integrate voice with on-screen mouse movements and to record Powerpoint presentations (along with moving graphics). The project scope for the ADAM tutorials to Chinese included the following components:

  • Translating and professionally recording the script and callouts, for each tutorial, into Simplified Chinese
  • Integrating the recorded Chinese screen captures from the (already localized) version of ADAM with the Mandarin Chinese narration
  • Encoding seven .mp4 versions in Chinese (one for each tutorial) for web viewing
  • Performing QA checks of the Chinese tutorials to ensure screen movements and narration are "in sync"
  • Executing the final QA prior to publishing on the Armstrong LMS platform

One of the first steps taken in this project was to have the assigned Interpro Project Manager review the narrative script and to remove information irrelevant to Chinese users, such as login instructions for European and Indian users, prior to translation. Following the standard procedures Interpro developed jointly with Armstrong, select staff members in Armstrong's Beijing office reviewed the script and screen captures after translation to ensure their satisfaction with the translation, terminology, and style used.

Since the goal of any localization project is to provide an equivalent/equally functioning foreign language version of the original source material, the main challenge was to synchronize the Chinese narration with screen actions. This manual process also involved multiple reviews of English language versions. As best efforts were made to match the English and Chinese language versions' speed and flow, several attempts were required to accurately capture seamless mouse movements. For example, Chinese tends to "shrink" after translation and as such, not only did some screen captures and scrolling need to be shortened, but the Chinese-speaking "mouse operator," at times, had to move the mouse slower to properly time each segment. Fortunately, the structure of the Chinese language is generally similar to that of English, but there were instances where word order would change, which required adjusting the actions on the screen, such as prolonging a screen scroll.

Conversely, had the project been localized in a European language such as French or Spanish, both being languages which tend to "expand" after translation, some screen captures and scrolling would have needed to be lengthened, requiring the mouse operator to move the mouse slower in like situations.

Be it in English or Chinese, ADAM is a one-stop source for information about Armstrong's global customers and prospective customers. Through this portal, not only can Armstrong employees can quickly and easily gain better insight into the company's global business activities, they can also do so in their native language…and have the ability to take full advantage of this powerful sales tool's features and functions.