In a recent survey of organizations which have operations globally, it was found that 85% of the sample translated their E-learning courses into up to 10 different languages, with a majority of them having used up to 2 languages. Thus, multi-national organizations have not only adopted e-learning as an important method of training their global workforce, but also ensured they were being translated into the language of their target audience. To know more about the survey and result, please download the free ebook on “Cross-Cultural E-learning”.
eLearning translation and localization process involves complex processes, which need to be followed meticulously, in order to ensure that the ethos and purpose of the original course is retained. Having a streamlined process ensures savings in terms of costs and time. The translation and localization process basically involves five stages or steps, irrespective of whether the translation is done in-house, or by external vendors.
Analyze Source Content: In this step, the source content provided is carefully analyzed and segregated, based on the texts and visuals. Inputs are also obtained from the stakeholder, about terminology and specific requirements of the target language. A detailed storyboard, with a clear cut layout, is created. Storyboard creation is the most important step in the translation process. The translation quality will be dependent on the precision and clarity, with which a storyboard is prepared. This storyboard needs to incorporate all elements that need to be translated – content, images, objects and so on.
Adopt Translation Process: Having a well-defined translation process helps in ensuring a smooth translation of source content. Here, the actual translation of the content takes place as per the instructions in the storyboard. It is advisable to take the help of native professionals for translation. The translation received will need to be reviewed, by either an SME, or a linguist. Having a sample translation, which is previously approved by the SME, is a best practice before finalizing the translator. Once the sample is approved, the translation work of the entire course can be started. At the end of this phase, you will have the storyboard in the target language.
Integrate course elements: On receipt of the approval from the SME or stakeholder, the source files and the translated storyboard will have to be integrated, to form the translated version. Care should be taken to ensure that the content and images are localized. Any other local specifications will also need to be reviewed and implemented, before the final course development.
Inspect Quality: This is an important phase in the translation and localization process. The linguistic accuracy and technical quality needs to be reviewed for the course, by subject matter experts and QA team.
Submit Final Course: Once the QA team completes its review, it is delivered to the stakeholder for approval and feedback. In case there are any changes that need to be made, they are implemented into the course. On receiving the final approval, the project can be finally signed off, with the translated course delivered to the stakeholder.
Following a methodical approach in translation, ensures that the courses are as effective in the target language, as in the source language. It has been said that if the training is given in the native language of learners, chances are that they comprehend it better. Translating training courses in the native language, to reach out to your global workforce is a good option for you to consider.