Recently my friends visited my place and we make an impromptu plan to watch a movie. Due to the unplanned decision and weekend rush, we didn’t get bookings for an English movie. Instead we ended up watching a movie in a regional language that some of my friends were not familiar with. The duration of the movie was for 2 hours and I spent the time translating the dialogue of movie into English for them. My weekend escapade became an spontaneous translation session, instead of being a relaxed cinematic experience.
My experience of the day made me realize the importance of translations and I realized it is required in many situations just as in any e-learning course.
There are many reasons why your e-learning should be translated into regional language. In an instructor led training, the instructor is an expert in his subject but not in a language. Whereas if learners come from different regions, they may be unable to understand the instructors language. So, it is a good idea to follow up an instructor led training with an e-learning course that is translated into the native language of learners. The same thing applies to an e-learning course that is rolled out in English. It is always to give options to leaners to choose the language of instruction.
Translations play a vital role in putting across the information in a format that learners can understand effectively. In a survey conducted by our company in 2013, we found the following results:
- 59% of responding organizations indicated that translating e-learning programs was important.
- 85% of the survey respondents have translated their e-learning courses into nearly 10 different languages.
- Out of them English, Spanish, and French were popular languages
- Around 34% of respondents indicated that their primary e-learning language was something other than English.
For English-speaking learners, your e-Learning courses may be highly effective and engaging, but for learners whose native language is not English, the training may not be effective. How can this be done? This can be done by localizing the training in the native language and making it culturally appropriate.
There are a few things that are needed to be taken care of, when you decide to translate your online course into various languages. Following are the points to focus on:
Simple Content: Content used in the course must be simple enough, since complex language can create problems while translating courses.
Special Characters: In English courses, the font of the text is not a problem. But for other languages, even a space can change the intended meaning. These factors should be kept in mind.
Images with Text: Images which have text in it can create a problem while translating. Text should be placed outside the image so that it can be easily editable. .
Expansion of Text: Different languages have different sizes and volumes. Always keep in mind the problem of expansion of text in other native languages. Remember that there is possibility of expansion or contraction when translating English courses into other languages.
Translating your e-learning courses into the languages spoken by your global learners goes a long way in imparting high-quality training and ensures better performance. However, best practices in translation ensure that you get a better return on your investment.
Hope this blog was helpful to understand key information about translating online courses. Please share if you can add up.