Multilingual PowerPoint: Translation Tips

ASIST Translations is often called upon to translate PowerPoint presentations. Here are some tips that make the process easier.

  1. As much as possible, always create all your slide text (and all titles and additional text in the “sub-levels”) in the Outline view—rather than creating and editing text in the slides themselves.
  2. Foreign-language translations are typically longer than the English original! If you’re already pushing the size limits of a slide with English text, it will be much better to break this text up into multiple slides.
  3. Images and diagrams you place into PowerPoint (“pictures” inserted from a file) often also include text. Remember to include the original source files for these, so any text they contain can also be translated!
  4. If you use external sound files in your presentation, be sure to provide them. Naturally, if your sound files include spoken phrases, ASIST Translations can also translate and record them for you in any target language.
  5. If using the Notes Page to print audience handouts, please indicate that we should also translate this for you. If you are using the Notes Page for presenter’s notes instead, let us know whether this text should be left in English, translated, or both.
  6. Learn how to use the Package for CD command! This gathers together all presentation files including externally linked files, and, if required, embeds required fonts. Even when not translating to other languages, this will ensure that presentations look and play identically on other computers. Packaging presentations allows them to run even on computers that don’t have PowerPoint installed (or when installed versions you find in the host country are older than yours!).
  7. Even if the correct version of PowerPoint is available on the computer provided for you, as a presenter you still might want to package your presentations in this way (or even bring your own copy of PowerPoint). When onsite, it can be very disconcerting to negotiate PowerPoint menus and dialog boxes in a language you don’t understand!

ASIST Translation Services, Inc. is a full-service translation agency located in Columbus, Ohio. We provide translation, interpreting, proofreading, voice recording and media production, localization of interactive and Web content, and specialized language services to clients around the world…