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FocusVision Knowledge Base

Translating Multi-Language Studies

If you've never created a multi-language project, be sure to read the Guide to Programming Multi-Language Studies Overview, by clicking here.

About The Translation Process

A translation file gets created for each language that you add to your project when programming.  This translation file or translation file is in excel format and it contains all of the text for your survey that needs to be translated.  

Download the translation file, make the necessary translations, and then upload the new translations into your project.  

Test the translations to make sure no errors exist and then launch your multi-language study! 

You’ll need the most finalized version of your survey when starting the translation process, so make sure all final survey changes are implemented and working as expected.

Step 1:  Pull the Original Text From the Survey

Using the XML editor? Click here to learn more.

To pull all original translations from your project, access the language manager by selecting Languages from the Project Controls or Build Menu:


This opens the Language Manager. From here, you can quickly export all of the original text from your project to an XLATE File by clicking the arrow under “Export” for the desired language:

Repeat this process for each language in your project. 

The section below is for informational purposes only.

The export file contains three different columns of information:

  • Resource: contains the text’s location in the survey. See some common label descriptors are below:

    • Title: corresponds with question text

    • comment: corresponds with instruction text

    • cdata: represents answer options

  • Primary Language: contains all of the original (English) text for your survey.

  • Translation: Contains text to be translated.

The highlighted XML syntax below should not be translated:


Step 2:  Send/Receive Translations

After pulling the original translations into an XLATE file, get them translated by sending the file(s) out to a translation team or translating them internally.

Don’t have a translation team? Email G3 for your all of your translation survey needs.

The returned file should looks something like this, with all updated translations in the “Translation” column of the translation file:

The test from the "Resource" column in the translation file should not be updated. 

XML syntax should NOT be changed (e.g.,[pipe: p1], <span> <i>, <b/> , etc.). Translating or changing this text causes errors when you re-upload your translations to your project.

Step 3:  Upload the Updated Translation Files

Once you’ve received your updated XLATE file, You can easily upload it back into your project using the Language Manager.

To upload your updated translations to your project, access the language manager by selecting Languages from the Build Menu:

This opens the Language Manager. Select the arrow under “Import” for the desired language:

Then click on “Choose File” in the dialogue box and select your file for import:

Once you have a file selected, click on “Import File” to import that XLATE file:


After you've added the translations to your projects, a corresponding LANGUAGE.xml file is created in the project's directory. This file contains the translation for every element in your project and it looks something like this:


For example, our french.xml file would contain the following:

<t id="general,name" o="Survey">enquête</t>
<t id="samplesources,0,invalid" o="You are missing information in the URL. 
Please verify the URL with the original invite.">Vous manquez d'informations dans l'URL. 
S'il vous plaît vérifier l'URL avec l'original inviter.</t>
<t id="samplesources,0,completed" o="It seems you have already entered this survey.">
Il semble que vous avez déjà saisi cette enquête.</t>
<t id="samplesources,0,inuse" o="Our records show that you are already taking this survey. 
If that&apos;s not correct, please wait 15 minutes and refresh this page. Thank you.">
Nos dossiers indiquent que vous prenez déjà de cette enquête. 
Si cela ne correctes, s'il vous plaît attendre 15 minutes et rafraîchir cette page. Merci.</t>
<t id="Q0,title" o="Please choose your language preference:">Please choose your language preference:</t>
<t id="Q0,r1,cdata" o="English">English</t>
<t id="Q0,r2,cdata" o="Français">Français</t>
<t id="Q0,r3,cdata" o="Deutsch">Deutsch</t>
<t id="Q0,r4,cdata" o="日本の</t>
<t id="Q1,title" o="Are you...?">Es-tu ...?</t>
<t id="Q1,comment" o="select one">sélectionnez une</t>
<t id="Q1,r1,cdata" o="Male">mâle</t> <t id="Q1,r2,cdata" o="Female">femelle</t>
<t id="Q2,title" o="What is your age?">Quel âge as-tu?</t>
<t id="Q2,comment" o="enter a number">entrez un numéro</t>

Step 4:  Best Practices for Translating Your Project

4.1:  Only Update Translations For Changes

When you upload a new translation file it overwrites any previous translations that contain the same original text as you new file. We recommended that you only upload new translations or translation changes. 

To do this, strip the file down, so that it only contains the column header labels and rows with the new/changed translations. See the example below:

Once you’ve completed updating the XLATE file, save it, and upload it to the system by using the Import feature in the Language Manager.

4.1:  Don't Change Element Resources After Adding Translations

Once you've uploaded and translated your project, it's important that the element resources remain the same. The language files (e.g. french.xml) reference each element by their unique resource name (e.g. Q1,r1,cdata).

If you change a resource name, then you need to manually update the translation file and use the Language Manager to import the changes into your survey or use the Edit Translations function in the Language Manager.

Click here to move on to the next phase of the multi-language studies guide: Testing Translations for Multi-Language Studies.