You may be wondering...

Technical questions

“How do I download the audio onto my phone?”

Phones and tablets don't usually let you download audio files onto them directly. So you will probably need to download the stories to your computer first, and then manually transfer them onto your phone or tablet.

In future we hope to turn these stories into an app, which should save us all from this awkward little dance.

“How do I print the stories?”

We've designed the stories to be printer-friendly. You should be able to just print the web page like you'd print any other web page, and it'll automatically magic away all the menus and extra stuff that you don't want.

Just be aware that whatever translations you have open when you print will also show up in your final printed version. Make sure you've opened or closed whatever needs to be opened or closed.

A note for our friends in the Americas (mostly): Our printer-friendly PDFs are designed for A4 paper size, which is a little taller and skinnier than your 'Letter' paper size. When you come to print, you may need to select the 'fit to page' option in your print settings.

“How do I make stories into PDF?”

It's pretty easy to turn our stories into a PDF version yourself.

We've made a quick video showing you how to do it in your web browser. It takes twenty seconds, and you don't need any special software!

“Why isn't the audio / video playing?”

Sometimes it can take a little moment for things to load, particularly if you're on a slow connection or a mobile device. If you're not seeing anything within 10 seconds (20 if you're generous), here are a couple of things to try:

Do a "hard refresh": If you're on a computer or laptop, you might have a stale version of the page cached in your web browser. A nice, brisk ctrl-R (or cmd-R on a Mac) will usually sort things out.

Switch it off and on again: It's a tech-support cliché, but it really does fix a lot of things. Try fully shutting down your device, and then switching it on again.

If neither of these magic tricks work, let us know.

“Why does the video player look different?”

We currently use two kinds of video player for our stories:

When you're logged in: You will see the Wistia video player. We love this player because of its fancy subtitles: You can open the subtitles and jump to anywhere in the video. You can also use them to practice sentences over and over again. Great for language learners!

But our Wistia player costs a lot to run. So we have another player for when you're not logged in.

When you're not logged in: You will be using the Vimeo player. You will still have access to subtitles, but you won't be able to use them to jump around the video. You also can't download the video. Otherwise, it's exactly the same!

If you're on a phone or tablet: Wildcard option! There's a chance it might look different because your device has hijacked the video and is using the native video player — especially if you've clicked to make it full-screen. You can sometimes fix this by turning your device on its side or exiting full-screen.

“Why can't I search the captions on my phone”

Our fancy video player should work pretty well on your phone or tablet. But in some situations, the native media player on your device will take over. This means you'll lose some of the features of our fancy player.

The native media player will often take over when you make the video full-screen. Sometimes it will take over even if you don't click the little "expand" button. (E.g., if you rotate your screen.)

To get back to our fancy player, try exiting full-screen, or rotate your phone again.

You'll know when you're looking at our media player, because the bar at the bottom will be blue.

Tip: If you're just watching the video and you don't need any of our fancy features just now, we recommend using the native player when you're watching on your phone. Our fancy player is pretty fancy, but the native player is specifically designed for your phone, and tends to be easier to use on a tiny screen.

Our fancy player (has a coloured bar)
Native player (doesn't have blue bar)

“I only see English. Where's the other language?”

First of all, make sure you're looking at the story in your target language. (We also have all-English versions, so don't get confused!)

If you're seeing "translate" buttons, but everything on the page seems to be in English, then you probably have some automatic translation app or plugin running on your device.

Here's the way to test: Compare the "translated" text with the original text. You may need to compare a few paragraphs. If the two paragraphs are similar... but not exactly the same... then you definitely have a sneaky translator hiding in the background there.

Try checking your web browser settings.