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5 Proven Tips to Reduce the Cost of E-learning Translations

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5 Proven Tips to Reduce the Cost of E-learning Translations

Do you need to translate your e-learning courses into multiple languages? Are you running short of training dollars? Would you like to produce high quality translations of your online courses with minimal expenditure? Well, here are 5 tips to cut the cost of translating self-paced, technology-enabled learning content.

1. Plan and plan well 

Proper planning goes a long way in reducing the cost of online course translations. You need to remember that translators charge more when the timelines for translations are short. Furthermore, the quality of translations may suffer if adequate time is not provided to the translators. Also, you need to carefully determine the languages into which the e-learning course needs to be translated. Courses in some languages such as Traditional Chinese may not have many takers, while those in others such as Simplified Chinese are in high demand.

2. Use simple, international English 

It is important to internationalize the online learning content by making it culture-agnostic. One of the key aspects in creating a culture-neutral course is the use of simple English devoid of idioms, references to sports and humor to develop the learning content. This is important because these elements are highly culture-specific, and often complicate the translation. And, this doesn’t help cut the cost of e-learning translations.

3. Go in for more visuals

It is well said that a picture can tell a thousand words. It is advisable to replace words with visuals, wherever possible. Visuals are self-explanatory, and a greater emphasis on graphics and images can cut e-learning translation costs considerably as the expenditure incurred on narration is reduced. Staying on with the internationalization of learning content, you need to make sure the images you use are culture-neutral and can be understood easily by your global audiences. For example, it is better to use the image of a piggy bank or coins, which can be recognized easily by most learners, instead of the picture of an American dollar bill, to depict money.

4. Keep text expansions in mind

In many cases, the translated text is longer than the English source. And, this could cause problems if the text container cannot accommodate the expanded text. When you develop online courses in English, you need to see that there is plenty of white space which can “take in” the text expansion. Also, make sure the horizontal navigation bars, menus, and other text containers are flexible, so that they don’t cause any issues. This is important to avoid re-work and keep e-learning translation costs to a minimum.

5. Finalize the learning content before translation

Ensure that the online training content in English is fully developed and approved by the stakeholder before submitting it for translation. Making changes to the content during the course of a translation can cause delays and result in escalation of costs. Costs can be higher if the English source has already been rendered into the target language(s) and now needs to be re-translated. In case it is necessary to alter the e-learning content in the middle of the translation project, send the revised content to the translator as quickly as possible. This helps reduce delays, thereby minimizing the cost of online course translations.

You can keep e-learning translation costs to a minimum by focusing on the following five aspects:

  1. Planning for e-learning translation effectively
  2. Using international English to develop the learning content
  3. Making the best use of visuals to reduce narration costs
  4. Providing for text expansions in the translated course
  5. Finalizing the content before submitting it for translation

How do you cut the costs of your online course translations? We’d love to know.

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