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Captain Kirk Has His Universal Translator. Do You?

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Captain Kirk Has His Universal Translator. Do You?

The USS Enterprise is on a routine patrol at the borders of the Federation. Suddenly, a Klingon vessel hails the star ship. Captain James Tiberius Kirk, the skipper of USS Enterprise, orders the universal translator to be switched on, and the Klingons’ message is rendered perfectly in English.

Most of us, who have grown up watching the Star Trek series, are familiar with such scenes. The Universal Translator may be a work of fiction, but the need for accurate translations is not. Companies need to translate their online content into various languages to meet the needs of their multilingual workforce, and e-learning courses are no exception. But, how can you get perfect translations of your online courses? Well, you need to follow a robust process. Let us now see what it is.

Step 1: Render the content into the desired language

You need to do the following to translate the learning content into the target language(s).

  1. Choose the right translator: This is arguably the most important step in the translation of your online course. You need to select a translator who is efficient, experienced and has translated courses for firms in your industry. For more information, check out this post on choosing the right e-learning translator.
  2. Prepare and send the “English” templates for translation: Once the English version of the course is developed, prepare a translation template which contains the text that needs to be translated and send it to the translator.
  3. Utilize computer-aid tools to translate the content: Make sure that the translator uses computer-aided translation (CAT) software to render the content into the target language. CAT tools have in-built memory tools which help ensure consistency in the translation and reduce cost.
  4. Follow a well-set QA process to ensure quality: Make sure you have a robust quality process in place at each and every stage – at the translator’s end where he or she can go through the file again and check for corrections, if any (self QA), and another at the lead translator’s end who checks the work of the translator and suggests changes according to the subject.
  5. Get the translated templates: It is time to get the translated templates from the translation agency. You need to make sure you receive all files in proper formats.

Step 2: Proofread the content

Once you get all the files from the translation agency, you need to proofread the content. Here are a few tips to check the quality of the translated content effectively.

  1. Get the content reviewed by the stakeholder’s in-country reviewer: It is now time to get the translated content reviewed by the proofreader at the stakeholder’s end. The proofreader may accept the translated content or may suggest some changes. In case he suggests any changes, the changes will be implemented and the revised version of the translated content will be sent for his approval. This cycle would continue till the proofreader approves the translated content.
  2. Send voice samples to the stakeholder to finalize the narrator: Once the content is finalized, we send sample works of various audio narrators to the stakeholder. The stakeholder examines these samples and selects the person who would narrate the online course in the target language.
  3. Schedule the recording of the audio narration: The next step is to prepare a schedule for recording the narration of the online course and finalize it.

Step 3: Audio Recording and Development

It is now time to create the audio component of your e-learning course. To ensure high quality of audio, you need to:

  1. Prepare the audio script and send it for recording: We prepare the audio script in the target language and send it to the narrator. The audio script needs to contain “pronunciation notes” to ensure narration of high quality. For more information, check out this e-learning translations blog.
  2. Conduct a quality check of the recorded audio narration by an internal linguist: Once the narration is recorded, it is time to check its quality. We use an internal linguist to ensure that the narration is error-free.
  3. Perform an internal review of the e-learning course for quality: Now, an internal team conducts a quality check on the developed course to ensure it is devoid of errors.

Step 4: Review the course and upload it on the LMS

You now need to review the translated course and upload it on the Learning Management system (LMS). This is how you can complete this step in a hassle-free manner.

  1. Release the “alpha” version of the e-learning course for proofreader review: The translated course (alpha) is sent to the stakeholder and he will get it checked by a proofreader. The proofreader may ask for some changes to be made to the course.
  2. Update the alpha version of the e-learning course: After receiving the feedback from the proofreader, we need to make changes to the course as desired by the proofreader.
  3. Release final version of the course for approval: Then, we send the course to the proofreader for his approval. He may approve the course or may suggest a few changes. In case of the latter, we incorporate them and send the revised course to him for approval. This cycle would continue till the course is approved.
  4. Make the course LMS compliant: After getting the approval from the proofreader, we make the course compliant to SCORM or other desired e-learning standards and send it to the stakeholder for a technical review.
  5. Upload the course on the LMS: Once the technical review is completed, the translated online course is uploaded on the LMS and learners can access it.

To produce a good translation of your online course, you need to get its content translated effectively. Then, the translated content has to be proofread. You then need to record and develop the audio component of the e-learning course. Finally, the course needs to be checked for quality and uploaded on to the LMS. Hope you liked this post. Do share your views.

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