E-learning translations play a key role in training global workforce. But, it is very important to produce high quality online course translations within the budget. Here, I would like to share a few very useful tips to prevent e-learning translation cost overruns.
Finalize the English Version of the Course First: Before getting started with the translation, finalize the English version of the e-learning course. This will go a long way in ensuring a good translation of the online course. Also, it helps avoid re-work and extra expenditure.
Create a Translation Template: Once the English version of the e-learning course is finalized, you need to create a translation template which can be used to send the course to the translator. The template should include the on-screen text, audio script and text on images if any. Also, we should include resources (MS-Word and/or PDF documents), if needed. It is very important that the template is thoroughly checked for quality and you need to make sure that no e-learning course content is missing. This step is required for translation of courses developed using Flash and other tools which do not provide an option to export the learning content.
If the English version of the course is developed by using Articulate Storyline/ Adobe Captivate, we can export the entire content as an XML file and send it directly to the translator.
If the course is developed using Articulate Studio/ Adobe Presenter, we can send the PowerPoint presentation directly to the translator.
Translate the Content in the Template: While sending the template for translation, we should provide the English version of the e-learning course along with required reference materials if any. We should specify the languages into which the course needs to be translated. It is also necessary to specify the standard of the language. For example, if we need to get the English version of the course into Chinese, we need to specify whether we require the course to be translated into Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese. Also, we should provide notes to the translator for difficult/ technical terms, and we can consult the client if we need any clarifications in this regard. It is necessary to provide adequate time to the translator to ensure a high quality translation of the online course.
Proofread the Template: Before developing translation e-learning course in the authoring tool, the template document should be proofread by a language/subject-matter expert. This helps avoid re-work at a later stage. Once you get the final proofread templates, pass them to the translator so that he will come to know of the corrections. He can save them in the memory of his translation tool and use the information for future projects and improve the quality of translations.
Translate the Course: Once the proofreader has approved the translation templates, you can start developing translation of the e-learning course in the authoring tool. Make sure you are using the final proofread templates only for the translation. Translate the text on the images, wherever needed.
Audio recording: Recoding audio in languages other than English is expensive. So, it is very important that we avoid re-recordings to the extent possible. Before recording the audio, we should send samples of narrators’ work to the proofreader/ client to select the right narrator for the course. Also, provide pronunciation notes to avoid wrong pronunciation of words. Make sure you do not miss any small text/paragraph which has audio. Send the audio script and pronunciation notes to the selected narrator for recording.
By following these steps, we can avoid re-work and extra expenditure on e-learning translations.
Hope you find this blog informative. Do share your thoughts.