As companies continue to expand their operations to new shores, they face a pressing need to localize their online learning content to impart effective training to their international, multilingual workforce.
One of the key components of corporate e-learning content is videos. Today, let us examine 5 major, common mistakes made by firms when they translate their video-based online courses and look at ways to avoid them.
Mistake 1: Going overboard with on-screen text (OST)
Translation of OST takes time and money, and many a time, learning video localization projects get delayed due to ‘excessive’ use of OST. So, it is very important to use the on-screen text sparingly. Another aspect firms need to bear in mind when they use OST is keeping the text simple. Hugh Barford, in his article, Secrets to Successfully Creating Source Video Content with Localization in Mind, points out that adding animations and other effects to OST makes its translation time-consuming.
Mistake 2: Thinking little about the use of subtitles
Adding sub-titles is a good way to present the content in your ‘source language’ video to international audiences in a cost-effective manner. To use sub-titles effectively, it is important to avoid cluttering the video with graphics. The subtitles can mask the visual elements, and this results in poor learning experiences. You can avoid this problem by developing the video in source language with localization in mind. When you know that the video would cater to the needs of multilingual audiences, you can come up with a localization-friendly graphic design strategy.
Mistake 3: Neglecting the increase in the length of audio script
You need to remember that the length of translated audio scripts is not always the same as their English versions. For example, a script in English translated into German could be lengthier by 20%. It is important to avoid word-by-word translations of the script, as they could result in the narration being longer than the video. You need to utilize the services of expert translators to come up with innovative ways to render the script in the target language that meet the ‘timing’ constraints, yet retain the essence of the source video. It’s better to provide the ‘original’ video to the translator along with the source language script. This would help him get a good idea of the context of the course, which would help him ‘shorten’ the script effectively.
Mistake 4: Developing audio scripts of poor quality
Staying on with the translation of audio scripts, you need to ensure the scripts in the target language(s) are of high quality. Translation of audio scripts can be challenging because the translated text is not presented in the written form. Check out the post 5 tips for efficient translation of narration of online courses to know the common pitfalls in translating audios scripts and how to avoid them.
Mistake 5: Trying to get the perfect ‘word-lip’ synchronization
Some companies prefer voice-overs to sub-titles. While the decision to go in for voice-overs doesn’t create problems, trying for the ‘perfect word-lip sync’ does. Getting the prefect synchronization takes a lot of time and increases the cost of localization considerably. It’s advisable to go in for a ‘rough’ synchronization of words and lips. This can be done by quietly playing the source language audio narration behind the translated version.
Companies often need to localize their learning videos to cater to the training needs of their global workforce. To localize videos effectively, you need to get the use of the OST right. You need to plan for the localization even before developing the source language video to use sub-titles effectively. It is important to render the audio script into the target language well and consider the length of the translated audio script. You need to avoid going in for the perfect ‘word-lip’ synchronization. Hope you liked this post. Do you wish to add to this list? Please do so.
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