Global businesses of all sizes are taking advantage of the power of e-Learning to educate employees, partners and customers around the world.
ELearning saves businesses time and money, and it’s more convenient for trainees as well. However, when your trainees speak different languages and come from different cultures, localised content is essential.
Even if your trainees speak English as a second language, research shows that people learn better in their native language. Presenting information in a culturally relevant fashion also increases understanding.
With that in mind, here are some expert tips for successful e-Learning localisation.
The path to successful e-Learning localisation begins before a single word is translated.
Some types of content are easier to translate than others. By making your original eLearning content localisation-friendly, you save time and money when it’s time to translate it for employees with different languages and cultural backgrounds.
Here are three ways to create content that’s easier to translate:
- Use simple, easy-to-read formats like bulleted lists.
- Use clear, direct language- avoid slang, humour and figurative language where possible.
- Minimise culturally specific references in text, audio and video.
Of course, these recommendations are not going to be suitable for ALL eLearning material. Your training may be more successful with a dose of humour to lighten up dry subject matter, for instance. Or, your compliance training may need to take cultural nuances into account to be effective.
That said, here are two tactics for creating content that’s easy to localise that work with almost all eLearning materials:
- Allow extra space in your design for text to expand after it’s translated.
- Avoid embedded text whenever possible. It won’t make your project impossible to translate, but it will make it more difficult, and therefore more costly.
At K International, we have a fantastic team of video technicians and multilingual desktop publishers on hand to handle these challenges. However, as it requires more work to do so, it also adds time and expense to the project.
Create a terminology glossary and a pronunciation guide.
Organisations of all sizes often have an internal culture and vocabulary all their own. So, how do you keep this internal branding from getting lost in translation?
Building a terminology glossary, a style guide and a pronunciation guide makes it easy for your language services provider to produce consistent, on-brand localised eLearning programs every time. Creating the guides may require an initial investment of time and effort, but once they’re in place, the amount of time you’ll save on future projects more than makes up for it.
For audiovisual content, timing is of the essence.
If your eLearning includes video content of any sort, timing is of the essence. For example, if you’re planning to dub the video with translated dialogue, care must be taken to avoid awkward and distracting “Milli Vanilli’ lip-syncing moments.
Timing issues may still arise even if your content uses text on screen and voiceovers. Languages can vary when it comes to wordiness, word length and sentence length. Including a bit of extra footage can make it easier for your LSP to edit your translated video accordingly.
Invest in transcreation to create custom learning experiences.
Transcreation, re-creating content from the ground up to suit the target language and culture, is usually associated with marketing and advertising. However, it’s becoming more and more common to transcreate eLearning content, according to eLearningIndustry.com.
That’s because instead of trying to ignore cultural differences, which can result in a bland final product, transcreation takes them to account to create a learning experience that’s customised for your target language and culture.
Trainees are simply more likely to pay attention to content that they personally identify with. By customising the content, you end up with a more relevant (and therefore more effective) final product.
Quality control is essential.
ELearning programs can include a variety of different components, such as audio, text, video and interactive software. As a result, quality control is essential to ensure that the localised lesson comes together smoothly, without any linguistic or technical errors.
Ask your LSP about their quality control procedures and any relevant certifications. For example, at K International, our quality control procedures are certified to ISO 9001:2015 standards.
Choose a full-service language services provider.
ELearning often involves many different elements: everything from text to video to software interfaces may need to be localised to create an effective multilingual eLearning program.
A full-service language services provider can streamline the process. For example, at K International, our team of linguists, designers, multilingual voiceover artists and other experts can handle your eLearning localisation needs in-house.
What does that mean to you? A smoother, more streamlined localisation process, managed by one of our experienced project managers.
If that sounds good to you, we need to talk. Contact us for your next eLearning localisation project today!