Organizations today have unearthed the potential of localization for their training programs, in fact, a study conducted by Common Sense Advisory, in 2011 reported that “Businesses that expanded their translation budgets were 1.5 times more likely to report an increase in total revenue than their Fortune 500 peers.”
However, translating an e-learning course is no cake walk, and you’re in trouble if you think Google translator is the best bet to translate your e-learning content. Translation and localization of a course into multiple languages is a strenuous task that takes a long time while burning a hole in your pocket. When expanding your training program to cross-cultural employees, here are a few translation hacks that will help you streamline the process and reduce the time and translation costs for your e-learning course.
- Write Universally: Course content intentionally written with localization in mind is easier to translate. Content that is written keeping in mind cultural diversity significantly reduces the costs associated with procuring culture-specific graphics such as images or icons. Remember to refrain from using expressions or idioms that might be appropriate only in certain cultures or languages. Keep your language short and simple. Another big advantage of writing universally is you can control your audio narration in case your course has limited audio space as translated courses tend to be a bit longer than the initial English course.
- Design Expansion: When it comes to visual design, always remember that the translated text will mostly be longer than English text. Ensure that your design aspects support different text lengths without causing too much rework in text alignment. When using images for your English course, it is best to refrain from using images that have text on them, as they would be hard to edit and pose problems while translating. Imagine editing a single image in ten different languages, this will shoot up your timeline as well as your cost, not to mention the extra round of reviews these images would need to make sure the text on the image is accurate.
- Choose the Right Voice Talent: Coming to the voice talent and narration, never assume that countries with similar origins will speak the same language. For example nations such as Mexico, Spain, and Argentina all speak Spanish, however their phonetics aren’t the same. If you choose a single translator for these three regions, you are bound to have multiple recording sessions until your talent gets the pronunciation right. For a better translated course, it is best to have a country-specific voice talent who is a native speaker.
- Review Translated Text: Just as quality, if your course needs to top notch in English, the same goes for your translated course. The best way to save time is send your translated text for language and grammar review before you begin the course development. You can always rely on a localization vendor for the quality check of the translated text. This may cost you, but will be of great help to your international learners in the long run.
- Outsource for Significant Cost Savings: Sometimes organizations find it difficult to accommodate all these requirements in-house; when your team is highly stretched for time, you always have the choice to outsource. Once your e-translating standards are set, you can approach e-learning experts to develop and translate your courses. It is a good idea to identify a vendor who is essentially training and e-learning company that has been around for over a decade and also knows about the old and new aspects of e-learning to understand your learning needs and develop your courses. The one great benefit of outsourcing is you remain stress free while your vendor proves his worth.
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