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Best Practices for Elearning Localization

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Best Practices for  E-learning Localization

Is there any need of translation and localization? Yes, in today’s competitive world, translation and localization helps to reach out the geographical and culturally dispersed audience, which is a necessity function for any organization. Now let’s have a look at some statistics, which infer the need of localization:

  • 65% of multinational enterprises believe localization is important to increase revenues. (Common Sense Advisory, Evolution and Revolution in Translation Management, 2008)
  • 56.2% consumers say that the ability to prevail information in their own language is more important than cost. (Common Sense Advisory, Can’t Read, Won’t Buy: Why Language Matters on Global Websites, 2006)
  • A critical success factor to reach cross cultural audience deals with the ability to communicate information clearly and accurately, in multiple languages. (Merrill Corporation, How to do Better Multinational M&A Deals, 2008)

According to LISA, the Localization Industry Standards Association, localization is defined as follows:

“Localization involves taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/region and language), where it will be used and sold. The purpose of localization is to adapt a product or text, which accurately reflects its linguistic, social, technical, and cultural norms in the target markets”.

If an eLearning course in British English is translated into Chinese, then localization ensures that images, date and number formats, accent, tone, humor, colors, symbols and designs of course suit traditional cultures of Chinese language.

Let us look at an example of eLearning localization: In a course for North American learners, you may use thumbs up symbol as gesture of approval. When you localize the content to Greece or Italian leaners, you have to change that symbol, because thumbs up denotes symbol of impoliteness for them.

The challenging task of the localization process deals with the lexical and professional issues while translating the source text into target text. Here are some best practices for eLearning localization.

Internationalize the Content: Internationalization means generalizing the product or content that can handle multiple languages and cultural conventions, so that it can be made available to global cultural audiences. For example: To make any product available to the global cultural audience, any kind of religious symbols should not be associated with it. Internationalization facilitates the process of localization and makes it easier.

Make the Content Simple: Making the content simple is considered to be the key feature to localize the content easily. To make the content simple, the source text should consist of the fundamental words. Paragraphs should not be lengthy. Avoid redundant and unclear words. Avoid buzzwords and idioms. Use clear definition terms.

Avoid Repetition of Navigation Elements: Many-a-time the e-learning content to be translated consists of repeated content, which should be avoided. Repetition of navigation elements like buttons, labels should be avoided by placing them only wherever it is necessary.

Consider the Technical Factors: Knowing the technical factors makes the process flow easy, during the translation process. Make sure that LMS used ensures all the technical aspects of e-learning localization like: LMS has a multilingual support or not, Know what are the space constraints of the translated content, because there is a chance of content expansion, Know what file formats are used for audio and video integration.

Implementing the best practices for the e-learning localization reduces the time, cost and helps to complete the process easily. What other best practices does your organization follow in eLearning localization? Kindly share!.

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