• Elearning Localization and Translation Services

A well-trained employee is a successful employee. According to research from the Association for Talent Development, formalized work trainings can increase a company’s income-per-employee by 218 percent, producing 24-percent gains in the organization’s profit margin.

Training isn’t a sunken cost: It’s an investment into greater business success. But for global companies managing a workforce spanning borders, languages and cultures, effective training presents challenges when it comes to translating training content and localizing messaging for each target audience.

eLearning courses are among the most popular and effective methods of deploying formalized training to workers spread out in different locations. But in order to serve workers in more than one language, professional eLearning translation and localization are essential. Research has shown that users are more engaged and better educated by eLearning content delivered in their native language, so businesses are preserving the value of their training investment when they commit to professional, accurate translation. 

A trusted language service provider (LSP) can help you navigate the challenges of translation and localization while ensuring that the eLearning content remains technically accurate to the course curriculum. If you’re unfamiliar with the importance of localizing content for international audiences, it’s worth taking time to understand why localization matters, and what an LSP can offer to these efforts.

Why eLearning Localization is Important

 

Most business leaders understand the importance of translating content into other languages. But localization also plays a critical role in determining your content’s ability to connect with, and educate, your target users.

Linguistic translation is the first step in preparing an eLearning course to be released in a new language. But translation on its own does not lead to a finished product. Localization is a process that takes both the text and multimedia of your created course—as well as design elements, color schemes and even fonts—and makes adjustments where necessary so that the content is appropriate to the cultures being addressed.

A metaphor about scoring a touchdown, for example, can be accurately translated from English into a foreign language—Russian, for example—without incident. But once translated, the metaphor itself no longer makes sense to users, because Russian citizens have little to no familiarity with American football. In this case, localization would switch this metaphor for a different sports metaphor to make it appropriate to the culture.

And while a Spanish-language translation might serve as the foundation for courses serving workers in both Spain and Mexico, there remains extra localization to be done to customize this translated course for the unique slang, customs, idioms and other cultural elements specific to each country—which, despite sharing the same language, have vastly different cultures.

eLearning localization builds upon the accuracy of a professional translation by making it authentic to your target audience. This extra step results in eLearning course content that is more engaging, more educational, and more constructive to your organization’s training goals.

The Benefits of Professional eLearning Translation and Localization

Organizations creating eLearning courses for multiple languages and cultures need an LSP that’s not only equipped to translate into the target language, but is also capable of localizing content based on its intimidate understanding of that culture. Your LSP should be able to offer the following benefits and services:

  • A deep understanding of cultural learning styles. Different cultures possess different learning styles that must be considered when localizing content. According to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, cultural groups within the United States—including African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and Native Americans—all demonstrate distinct learning styles that are best served through a customized approach. The same is true for cultures outside of the United States: Your LSP should understand the nuances of these learning styles, as well as how eLearning localization can be used to better serve these communities.
  • The ability to select culturally relevant multimedia. This includes images, video, graphics, and color schemes. Your LSP should understand which symbols and imagery to avoid for a given culture, which taking advantage of opportunities to utilize imagery that will engage workers and encouraging learnings.
  • A convenient client interface to manage communications between the LSP and its clients. This platform should also enable collaboration on eLearning translation, status updates on projects, invoices and payments to keep course translation projects on track while keeping clients in-the-know.
  • The flexibility to work with many authoring tools and presentation formats. eLearning courses are developed and edited on a number of different platforms, and your LSP should be familiar with the leading solutions. Some of the most common authoring tools include Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Camtasia, and Lectora, among others.

Providing Quality Assurance for eLearning Localization

The best approach to eLearning translation and localization is to implement multiple layers of testing that verify the content’s accuracy before it goes live. Your LSP should follow its own translation and localization by beta-testing the translated course among native-language speakers.

Ideally, this round of testing should solicit feedback from native-language speakers who currently live in the region being served, since an ex-patriated speaker may not have all of the cultural context needed to evaluate the course’s localized content. Clients should remain closely involved in these final stages of translation and localization, as well as tasks like selecting voice-over and narration talent that feels authentic to the language and region without feeling stereotyped or out-of-place.

Whether it’s for courses, presentations, or interactive quizzes, eLearning localization is the best way to replicate proven educational content for workers or other users located around the globe. Communication is a pillar of business success, and accurate, professional translation and localization will facilitate strong communication regardless of any language or cultural barriers.

AT-A-GLANCE

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