English is the third most widely-spoken language in terms of native speakers, close to 335 million. But if one were to count the number of people who speak it as a second language, then it clearly is the most popular language in the world. Then why is translation so important?
When it comes to corporate training where the stakes can be very high, e-learning courses delivered in the learner’s native language are significantly more effective even if the learner is multilingual. Besides, 65 percent of multinational enterprises believe localization is either important or very important for achieving higher company revenues. (California State University at Chico, 2007) Still not impressed?
Here are four reasons why you won’t want to confine your e-learning courses to one language.
Reason #1: Not everyone speaks English
Okay. I know this contradicts my introduction. Allow me to make my case. Agreed that English is the most widely-spoken language. But it’s no reason to overlook all the other people who don’t speak it. Take the US for instance, whose national language is English. However, it’s a country of immigrants and therefore home to a wide variety of foreign language speakers. A large influx of Hispanic people has made Spanish the second most spoken language in the US.
Also, just because a person can speak a little English, that doesn’t mean they can speak it well enough to cope in all situations. It’s one thing to have a basic conversation. But it is an entirely different ball game if they wish to acquire knowledge and skills through online courses, as learners need to have good knowledge of English.
Reason #2: People prefer their native language
Let’s say, you are offering e-learning courses to your sales force based in Brazil. If the courses are in English, chances are they may not be comfortable with the accent or the tone being used in the audio. This is because people prefer learning in a language they grew up speaking.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela
Training is most effective when you offer it in the learner’s native language. Therefore it is best to have online courses in the learner’s native language wherever possible.
Reason #3: Connect with the global audience
There’s a reason why there has been an increase in the demand for translation services. While English has been crowned “the language of global business,” translation and interpretation services remain a crucial part of conducting business around the world. This is because companies are becoming more global, having their workforce, clients, and service providers in multiple locations.
Translation of your e-learning courses means you can rest assured that your employees will receive training no matter where they are in the world, in their preferred language. For example, a sales rep in China can access e-learning in Chinese to offer a better sales pitch to his customers. Now imagine what would happen if he were to learn everything in English?
Reason #4: Satisfied employees
By translating your e-learning courses, you let your workforce know you are willing to support them and offer training in whatever language they’re comfortable with. By doing so, your employees feel valued and connected to your brand which could have a positive impact on the company’s image overseas.
Be it personal or professional, language is an important aspect in anybody’s life. As a global organization, you must realize what your learners’ limitations are and take steps accordingly to improve their training. By doing so, you not only make their lives easier but also paint the picture that you are willing to go to any lengths to ensure that your employees perform well in their jobs.
Want to add to our reasons to translate e-learning courses? Do so in the Comments section.