Localizing the User Interface in Axis LMS

One of the appeals of offering online training is that users can access that training from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. However, just because anyone can take your training, it doesn't mean your content will be able to be universally understood. That is where localization comes into play. Localization is an incredibly valuable tool that helps your company reach an even larger audience by allowing you to offer your Axis LMS user interface in a diverse selection of languages.

When enabled, your user’s interface (buttons, captions, labels, etc) will adapt to display in their native language and, using the built-in translation mappings, can actually be set up to use your own translations. In Axis LMS, many of the defaults of the User Interface have built-in translations. In addition to these built in translations, admins can also enter custom translations for non-default content, such as Certificates, Course and and Quiz Names, and many other items.

In Axis LMS, as of the writing of this article, the user interface can be localized to any of the following languages:
  • American English
  • British English
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
Changing User Localization

Localization is great, but doesn't serve much of a purpose if no users are using it. There are two categories of methods to get users on to a non-english localization: user-driven, where users can swap at will; and admin-driven, where the admin controls it.


We'll cover user-driven first, because it has intentionally been made easy for users to use. If localization has been toggled on for your users, at the bottom of any Learning Portal page, users will be able to select the flag associated with their localization. Non-english speakers will be able to comfortably use this method, and toggle flags to bring themselves somewhere understandable.
User Profile Icon
And, if your users haven't made it to the Learning Portal yet, the User Login Page has these same flag options, so users can adjust the entire Login Page so they can follow along the login process.

Admin-Driven - Individual User:
Admins may choose to be more hands on with a user's access to different locales.
User Profile Icon

To update users individually, select the User from the Manage Users screen. Select their User Profile, and under the "Additional Info" area (default) select the Localization Dropdown to choose from any of your available language packs.

Admin-Driven - Groups of Users

The ability to update a large amount of users simultaneously has always been a popular feature in Axis LMS; so if you’ve ever performed that action, updating languages is extremely similar.

To update the language of many users at once, start by isolating them using either a Usergroup, or a series of advanced filters.

With the user is isolated, click on the pencil icon to edit the users' profiles and select "localization" from the first dropdown and then a new language interface for the users from the second dropdown.

Admin-Driven - User Sign-Up

This method could be described as more pro-active, than re-active; as the only work is setup. Using this method, users sign themselves up already using their native dialect.
Because only one User Sign-Up can be on a page at once, setup is broken into 3 different steps:

Step One: Create the Page

On your page, you’re going to minimally require a User Sign-Up form. Stylize the page however you see fit, and add any additional widgets you see fitting. Before saving your changes, edit the Sign-Up widget, and change the language to the langue users should be created with through the page.

Step Two: Duplicate the Pages

After you’ve finalized your page, the easiest way to move forward is duplicating the page once for every language pack on your system. For each duplicate page, go in to edit its User Sign-Up widget, and change it to the next Language pack.

Step Three: Distribute links for the different Pages

Once you’ve created a page for each of your Language packs, you need a way to get users to that page. You could let visitors find their own way, but an easier method may be to distribute the appropriate links to the different regions you are marketing to.

The easiest way to acquire this link is by doing a quick preview of the appropriate page - just grab the URL from the browser's address bar for distribution.

Custom Translations

For each Language Pack, Axis LMS has gone through tremendous lengths to translate all of the default text from English. However, you are able to overwrite or redefine that translation as you deem fit; additionally, you can create your own custom translations for anything that doesn't already exist by default.

For example, the "Home" tab of your user’s learning portal is translated to "Principal" in Spanish by default; using the localization app, an admin can redefine this to say anything (for example "Casa").

Redefining words is easy; the quickest way to start is to list out (or search against) translations for a given language. Identify the word you want to redefine, and submit a new translation.
    System > Localization & Languages > Manage Language Packs > Select a Language Pack > Add a New Word / Phrase
After changing a translation, the translation will now be listed in a different color, so you can more easily identify or revert those changes in the future. Similarly, any custom translations added to the system (such as quiz names, or phrases used on your certificates) will be listed the same.

The User Experience

When a language pack is enabled for a user, the ‘shell’ of the content will be translated for the user. This includes tab labels, button captions, and all static widget text. When adding custom translations for certificates and quizzes, it's important to translate the entirety of the phrase or title; and capitalization will count - make sure you're translating the phrase exactly as it's been entered for the quiz.

A lot of Axis LMS interface will be included in the translation, but not the content itself. For example, questions and slides are not translated. When used inside of Quizzes and Courses, Slides will display to the user in the language they were authored in. This means that if you need a learning item to be delivered using Spanish Content, the questions and slides the quiz is composed of will need to be written in Spanish; they will not be translated from English.