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Seven Secrets of Cost-effective E-learning Translations

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Seven Secrets of Cost-effective E-learning Translations

How can you translate your e-learning content effectively? What does it take to make your online course locale-specific rapidly, with minimum expenditure? Well, here are 7 proven tips.

Tip #1: Plan well for the translations and plan early

It is very important to consider the needs of your multilingual learners before you begin developing an online course. Brian Nichols, in his article 10 Ways to Cut Website Translation Costs points out that localization of online content is an afterthought for many organizations, and this often results in a “meet-the deadline” attitude, resulting in poor translations. To overcome this problem, you need identify the languages into which your technology-enabled learning content needs to be rendered and come up with an appropriate plan before you commence the development of the e-learning course.

Tip #2: See that the e-learning content is translation-friendly

You need to make sure the content of your online course can be translated easily into the target languages(s) easily. It is advisable to avoid using jargon, slang, clichés, idioms, culturally specific terms, and abbreviations when developing content for global learners. Culture-neutral e-learning content can be localized quickly, in an effective manner.

Tip #3: Use a glossary and a style guide

It is essential to provide the translator the necessary reference material containing

the explanation of terms, abbreviations and other inputs, needed to render the online course effectively into the target language. It is also advisable to provide a style guide to the translator as it helps ensure consistency of the translated text, leading to a high quality localization of the e-learning content.

Tip #4: Make the best use of computer-aided translation (CAT) software

These applications help produce effective translations of your e-learning content by ensuring uniformity of theterms used. Many CAT tools come with in-built translation memories that enable the re-use of translated sentences, helping reduce the time taken for and cost of localizing the online course.

Tip #5: Utilize templates that support the target languages

The choice of the right templates to develop an e-learning course helps simplify the process of its localization. Many a time, the translated text is longer than its English version, and the e-learning template needs to accommodate this expansion. Also, you need to make sure the template supports “right-to-left” languages such as Arabic and Hebrew and double-byte character sets (DBCS) commonly used in East Asian languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Tip #6: Keep images text-free

It is better to avoid using text on images in the English version of the course. You need to recreate the image if the text is to be translated, and this increases the cost of the online course’s localization. If you can’t avoid using text on graphics, create a text layer within the source files. This reduces the quantum of re-work on the graphic considerably.

Tip #7: Have a single point of contact (SPOC)

Effective localization of your online course takes much more than translating words into the target language. The online course’s context and purpose play a key role in its translation.

You need to convey the objectives of the translation and clarify the doubts of the translator effectively. It is better to assign aknowledgeable person as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to ensure effective coordinationand communication.

Effective planning goes along way in producing cost-effective localizations of your e-learning content. You need to ensure that the content of your online course is translation-friendly. You need to provide a glossary and a style guide to the translator and harness the full potential of CAT software. It is essential to use templates that support the target languages and keep the images text-free. You need to appoint a SPOC to ensure good coordination and cooperation with the translator of your technology-enabled learning content. Hope you liked this post. How do you localize your online courses? We’d love to know.

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