Companies operating in more than one country often have to factor for the cultural and linguistic differences of individuals they deal with. They need to translate and localize marketing or communication collaterals to suit the target audience. The same is true with eLearning courses as well. A course meant for the American employees may not be appropriate for their workforce who is located in say Malaysia or Japan. There are many reasons for it. Some of them are as follows:
Companies are increasingly making attempts to go global. It suggests that every company, however insular it is in the domestic conditions, will be affected by the developments and external influences that occur in its field. So, it would be better for you to be prepared for these developments by making yourself globally competitive.
Sometimes, while conferencing with geographically-challenged clients and staff, it makes me wonder whether they really listen and understand all that’s being said. It could be that despite the most creative and effective sales pitch to our prospective clients, they may be least interested in listening. Why? Perhaps, lack of personal connectivity is the answer.
During a teleconference, the listener at the other end has only to listen and throw in a few queries to the speaker. The listener plays no active role in the conversation. At such times, he or she may feel bored with all that listening. In fact, research shows that 80% of leads that marketers pitch to the clients go straight into the bin. The most effective way to resolve this issue is via the technology of webinars.
Wikipedia defines a webinar as a kind of web conferencing for conducting live meetings, trainings and presentations via the Internet. The host connects with the participants for web conferencing via the Internet, allows them to participate in discussions, QA session and more. It is a two-way web conference having interactive elements like polling, QA sessions – enabling complete contribution between the two parties. The main advantage of holding webinars is the convenience of time and location of the presenter and audience.
Some of the easy ways to ensure creative ideas and profitable outcomes while using webinar technology are:
- Make it visually appealing by using charts, audio, presentations, photos, and graphics. These elements build interest in the subject, emphasize your point and send the right message to your participants.
- Chat with your users. Don’t just talk, talk, and talk. Involve your clients in discussions, Q&As and idea generation by encouraging participation through chats. A lively webinar spells success for business.
- If you write what you say, it will engage the participants to a great extent.
- Keep your webinar short, crisp, with loads of audience interactions and Q&A time.
Key benefits of webinars are:
- Reduction in travel time and expenses
- Improved communication
- Large audience reach
- Real time feedback
Communication is an extremely important aspect of business. Gaps in communicating during sales pitch to the client will bring about unfortunate results. The advent of webinars offer every corporate broad opportunities to express their ideas, not just clearly but also in the most creative and innovative manner.
Do share your thoughts on the same.
When you go global with your business, it is important that the product you market blends with the intended country. Suppose you create courseware for Company X, based in France in French. Company X also has its presence in Germany and Japan. The company wants to train its employees on the same course across various locations. Will the courseware created in French help German or Japanese employees? Obviously not. So, how will Company X train its employees in Germany and Japan on the same course?
In this blog, I will share my experience of working on Multi-lingual eLearning courseware development.
First and foremost, you need to develop multilingual courses in such a way that it is easy to translate and localize into multiple languages. Especially, if there is voice-over in the course, which needs synchronization with the animation.
Avoid using the images with text superimposed on it. If textual content is required, then add it to the top of the images separately, but avoid merging it with the image.
If you’re using authoring tools like Lectora, Captivate, Articulate, etc., then you can use the translation tools to develop the translation file easily. If you are using other course development tools like Adobe Flash or coding, then you need to create the translation file manually. This format works for the legacy courses, which are developed without considering translation in future.
Please look at the below format for Non-voiceover course. This format is applicable to any languages. In the below format, you will find 3 tables.
- In the first table, you need to write the translation language details.
- In the second table, you need to include all the general text for translation.
- In the third table, you need to put the text page wise.
In Table 1, you need to type the source and the translated language and the date of translation. Translator should update the versions after each revision or changes.
Table 2 consists of global content including all the general content based on the course like GUI text, help, glossary, resources pages etc.
- Page #: This column is used as reference for translators and developers.
- Source Text: Put all the source text. Break the content into paragraphs. Use separate rows for each paragraph.
- Translated Text: In this column, the translators will translate text based on the source text.
- Image/ Buttons/Other Text: In this column, input all the words included on the images (If present).
- Translated Text For Image/Buttons/Other: In this column, the translators will translate the image text.
Courses with voiceover:
Online Training Courses with voice over are little more complex than courses without voice over. Here you need to synchronize the text animation with audio. You need to be more careful in the format and the content breakup, because only the source language can be understood and has to be matched with the translated language. Below is format of Table 4, which will be useful.
- Page #: This is used to identify the page/slide.
- Onscreen & Images Text: In this column, you need to include both onscreen content and the text on the images
- Translated Text: Translators will write the translated onscreen text.
- Audio File Name: After the script is recorded slide wise by the narrator, it has to be split into several parts. These smaller audio files are to be renamed as for example, if it is a slide 3 audio, then the split audio file should be named as, 3a, 3b, 3c etc.,
- Audio Script: Break the audio scripts into parts based on the animation clips.
- Translated Text: Translators will write the translated onscreen text.
Note: Translators need to be informed about not to translate the “Page #” and “Audio File Name” columns.
Have a look at a multi language course on electrical safety done in 8 languages.
“The effectiveness of training is multiplied when the content is translated into region-specific languages and localized harmoniously to fit into the culture of the target audience.”
There are various elements in an elearning course that need to be considered while translating the course into multiple languages. Here is the 5 step process for translating the course into multiple languages:
In today’s global economy, as organizations operate in hundreds of languages and locales, the need for global localization is very much on the rise. The need to train organization’s culturally and linguistically diverse workforce effectively is very important and using their own language as a medium is considered the best way.
Imagine elearning content development on Product Training or Sales Training that needs to be delivered in 10 different languages… a mammoth task.