It is common knowledge that well-translated online courses retain the efficiency of the version in the source language and help deliver effective training to your global workforce that speaks several languages.
So, how could your eLearning courses be efficiently translated?
A number of online translation tools that can translate your online courses are available on the Internet.
However, these computer programs often deliver output of poor quality that could have a bearing on their effectiveness.
I was curious and tried to know why computer translations are not efficient. I found some interesting facts that I would like to share with you all.
1. Most computer translators use an “intermediate” language
A major reason that contributes to low levels of efficiency of computer translations is that most of these do not directly translate from the source language to the target language. They use an intermediate language for translation.
For instance, when I attempted to translate a German webpage into Telugu, a south Asian language, using Google Translate, it first translated the German source into English and then translated this English content into Telugu. This resulted in a very poor translation as the essence of the German source was lost.
2. Computers translate word-by-word
This is another serious drawback that makes computer translations ineffective. Word-by-word translations without considering the context as a whole could lead to a “translation nightmare.” I would like to share an experience I had using computer translators.
I tried to translate this English sentence using a machine translator.
Bill Harris and his friends went to a restaurant.
The machine translated the word ‘Bill’, the first name of a person into ‘Rechnung’ which is the German word for ‘bill’, that we usually receive from the shopkeeper after buying a product. Hilarious, indeed it was, but an absolute disaster from a translator’s point of view.
3. Cannot distinguish homographs
Homographs are words that share the same spelling but have different meanings. Most translation software cannot differentiate homographs and this leads to terrible translations.
For instance, translations could go awry if the word ‘back’ used to describe a part of the human body is translated as ‘back’ as used in “back and forth.”
4. Problems arise when there are no verbal nuances
Verbal nuances are jargons that are specific to a particular language. During translations, there are instances when a particular word, phrase or term does not have an equivalent term in the target language.
If the jargon is not interpreted accurately, it could lead to confusion because the user is not able to obtain the right information from the translation. This could result in a very poor learning experience.
5. Computers cannot translate words that are not in the database
All computer translators including Google Translate have a repository of words stored in their databases. A machine translator cannot translate words that are not present in its repository.
This creates serious problems in producing an accurate translation that could have a profound impact on the quality of the final output.
These problems in delivering accurate translations make machines incapable of matching the skills of human translators. Therefore, you need to hire qualified professionals to efficiently render your online courses in the desired languages. However, you may face problems in hiring and efficiently managing a team of skilled translators because translation of eLearning programs is not your core business.
You can overcome this problem by outsourcing the translation of your online courses because you can ensure high quality by utilizing the services of a reputed vendor who is well experienced in rendering online courses in multiple languages. The vendor follows a well-set procedure that results in very effective translations of your eLearning programs. A sound procedure also reduces the turnaround time needed for the translation, thereby reducing its cost.
Thus, you could ensure the success of your eLearning initiative to impart efficient training to your multilingual workforce in a cost-effective manner. What do you think?